Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | 3 Oct 2012
K Chalupnikova, J Nejepinska and P Svoboda
Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is involved in different biological processes. At least three different pathways can respond to dsRNA in mammals. One of these pathways is RNA interference (RNAi) where long dsRNA induces sequence-specific degradation of transcripts carrying sequences complementary to dsRNA. Long dsRNA is also a potent trigger of the interferon pathway, a sequence-independent response that leads to global suppression of translation and global RNA degradation. In addition, dsRNA can be edited by adenosine deamination, which may result in nuclear retention and degradation of dsRNA or in alteration of RNA coding potential. Here, we provide a technical review summarizing different strategies of long dsRNA usage. While the review is largely focused on long dsRNA-induced RNAi in mammalian cells, it also provides helpful information on both the in vitro production and in vivo expression of dsRNAs. We present an overview of currently available vectors for dsRNA expression and provide the latest update on oocyte-specific transgenic RNAi approaches.
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