Killing the messenger: short RNAs that silence gene expression

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Jun;4(6):457-67. doi: 10.1038/nrm1129.


Short interfering RNAs can be used to silence gene expression in a sequence-specific manner in a process that is known as RNA interference. The application of RNA interference in mammals has the potential to allow the systematic analysis of gene expression and holds the possibility of therapeutic gene silencing. Much of the promise of RNA interference will depend on the recent advances in short-RNA-based silencing technologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • RNA / metabolism*
  • RNA / physiology
  • RNA Interference*
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • RNA Polymerase III / metabolism
  • Transgenes
  • Viruses / genetics


  • RNA
  • RNA Polymerase II
  • RNA Polymerase III