Endogenous small interfering RNAs in animals

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Sep;9(9):673-8. doi: 10.1038/nrm2479.


Until recently, only nematodes among animals had a well-defined endogenous small interfering RNA (endo-siRNA) pathway. This has changed dramatically with the recent discovery of diverse intramolecular and intermolecular substrates that generate endo-siRNAs in Drosophila melanogaster and mice. These findings suggest broad and possibly conserved roles for endogenous RNA interference in regulating host-gene expression and transposable element transcripts. They also raise many questions regarding the biogenesis and function of small regulatory RNAs in animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2 / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism*


  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2
  • RNA, Small Interfering