RNA interference: a practical approach

J Surg Res. 2004 Apr;117(2):339-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2003.09.010.


Background: Few new molecular biology techniques have advanced to find practical application as rapidly as RNA interference (RNAi). RNAi denotes the highly specific posttranslational silencing of gene expression that occurs in response to the introduction of double-stranded RNA into a cell. The purpose of this review is to present practical guidelines for designing and executing RNAi experiments.

Materials and methods: Review of recent literature.

Result and conclusion: We summarize the mechanisms underlying RNAi in mammalian cells and focus on practical advice for investigators conducting RNAi experiments. We suggest criteria to help select a suitable target gene sequence, define the structural characteristics of effective siRNAs, discuss transfection strategies, and describe experimental design, including important control methods. RNAi represents a powerful tool for determining the functions of specific genes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Molecular Structure
  • RNA Interference / physiology*
  • RNA-Induced Silencing Complex / chemistry
  • RNA-Induced Silencing Complex / physiology
  • Research Design
  • Transfection


  • RNA-Induced Silencing Complex