MyBioSource siRNA Catalog Description
RNA interference (RNAi) is a cellular biological process wherein small RNA molecules inhibit or silence gene expression. RNA is, of course, transcribed from genes and is the first step of gene expression. Transcription results in messenger RNA (mRNA) which is translated into protein. In the RNAi pathway, small RNA molecules interfere with gene expression by binding to mRNAs and inhibiting their expression. That is, the small or short RNAs function to prevent the translation of a specific mRNA into a protein and gene expression is down regulated.
From a mechanistic stand point, in the RNAi pathway double stranded RNA (dsRNA) corresponding to a specific gene sequence is broken down into small pieces of RNAs. These short pieces of RNA are referred to as small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). They are also known as short interfering RNAs or silencing RNAs.
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