RNA Interference (RNAi)

Botany

All characters of organism are the result of expression of different genes which are regions of nuclear DNA. This expression involves transcription and translation. Transcription refers to the copying of genetic information from one strand of the DNA (called sense strand) by RNA. This RNA, as soon as it formed cannot be straight away sent to the cytoplasm to undertake the process of translation. It has to be edited and made suitable for translation which brings about protein synthesis. One of the main items removed from the RNA strand are the introns. All these changes before translation normally take place whereby certain regions of DNA are silence. However, there is an (RNAi) pathway. RNA interference is a biological process in which RNA molecules inhibit gene expression or translation. This is done by neutralising targetd mRNA molecules.

A simplified model for the RNAi pathway is based on two steps, each involving ribonuclease enzyme. In the first step, the trigger RNA (either dsRNA or miRNA primary transcript) is processed into a short interfering RNA (siRNA) by the RNase II enzymes called Dicer and Drosha. In the second step, siRNAs are loaded into the effector complex RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). The siRNA is unwound during RISC assembly and the single-stranded RNA hybridizes with mRNA target. This RNAi is seen in plant feeding nematodes.

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