Application of short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) to study gene function in mammalian systems
Over the past decade, RNA interference (RNAi) plays an important role in biology, especially for silencing gene expression. RNA interference (RNAi) is a natural process through which expression of a targeted gene can be knocked down with high specificity and selectivity. Methods of mediating the RNAi effect involve small interfering RNA (siRNA) and short hairpin RNA (shRNA). In various applications, RNAi has been used to create model systems, to identify novel molecular targets, to study gene function in a genome-wide fashion, and to create new avenues for clinical therapeutics. This article reviews the current knowledge on the mechanism and applications of shRNA in mammalian and human cells.
Keyword: shRNA, siRNA, RNAi, dicer, gene silencing