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Revista de investigación clínica

versión impresa ISSN 0034-8376


VAZQUEZ-ORTIZ, Guelaguetza; PINA-SANCHEZ, Patricia  y  SALCEDO, Mauricio. Great potential of small RNas: RNA interference and microRNA. Rev. invest. clín. [online]. 2006, vol.58, n.4, pp.335-349. ISSN 0034-8376.

Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) induces a sequence-specific silencing in eukaryotic cells. This silencing process beggins when long dsRNA is cleaved to 21 to 26 long small RNA by means of the RNAse III-type enzyme Dicer. These small dsRNA are included into silencing effector complexes, that are targeted to complementary sequences. Small RNA dependent gene silencing can be achieved by distinct mechanisms based depending mainly on the nature of target sequences and on the proteins present in the effector complex. The route of interference RNA (RNAi) begins when Dicer yields small interference RNA (siR-NA) that bind to complementary mRNA for its degradation, forming the RISC complex. siRNA are naturally formed from transposons and dsRNA viruses during its replication, as well as from other bidirectional transcribed repetitive sequences. Some of the enzymes thar are part of the RNAi machinery, including Dicer, are encoded by multigene families in many species, that also play a role in other mechanisms of RND-dependent gene silencing. MicroRNA's (miRNA) are other small RNA's that can induce gene silencing at the mRNA level. These are formed in a general manner when Dicer process hairpin structures resulting from the transcription of non-coding sequences from plant and animal genomes. miRNA's are integrated into a RISC-like complex, after which, depending on their degree of complementarity with target mRNA, can either repress translation or induce mRNA degradation. miRNA-dependent silencing is essential for the development of multicellular organisms. Artificial RNAi induction by means of siRNA or miRNA is being used as a tool to inactivate gene expression in culture cells and in living organisms. This review focuses on the progress in the understanding of the mechanisms involved in gene regulation by RNA in animals and details some current efforts to apply theses phenomena as a tool in research and in the therapeutic of human diseases.

Palabras llave : Double stranded RNA; Interference RNA; MicroRNA; Cancer.

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