Structural insights into RNA interference

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2010 Feb;20(1):90-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Jan 5.


Virtually all animals and plants utilize small RNA molecules to control protein expression during different developmental stages and in response to viral infection. Structural and mechanistic studies have begun to illuminate three fundamental aspects of these pathways: small RNA biogenesis, formation of RNA-induced silencing complexes (RISCs), and targeting of complementary mRNAs. Here we review exciting recent progress in understanding how regulatory RNAs are produced and how they trigger specific destruction of mRNAs during RNA interference (RNAi).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA Interference*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Small Interfering / chemistry*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • RNA-Binding Proteins