RNA interference (RNAi) is a newly described natural biological phenomenon mediated by small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules which target viral mRNA for degradation by cellular enzymes. RNAi has become a method of choice for studying gene function, especially in mammalian systems. With proof-of-concept studies already presented against a wide variety of human pathogens and several innovative methods of delivering the siRNA to a wide variety of primary cells available, the role for siRNA as a potential therapeutic strategy is becoming increasingly clear. This review presents recent advances in this direction.
Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.