Artificial RNA Inhibitors of Gene Function

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke scientists have developed a method for the efficient inactivation of gene function using specifically designed RNA molecules.

The method involves the design and synthesis of small RNAs that are complementary in sequence to a target mRNA. Expression of the small RNAs can efficiently block the translation of the target mRNA and thus eliminated the production of the protein product. The method, described in a series of recent publications by Bryan Cullen in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke, is summarized in a recent paper published in the June 2002 issue of Molecular Cell.