RNA interference (Labeled). Long double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) can be used to silence or alter the behavior of target genes in a variety of organisms and cell types. After introduction into the cell, the dsRNAs get processed into 20-25 nucleotide small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) by an RNase III-like enzyme called Dicer (left side). Argonaute protein binds the siRNA strands into the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). Argonaute acts as a catalyst to unzip the siRNA leaving one strand known as the guide strand. The RIAC becomes active and seeks out compatible nucleotides in the target messenger RNA (mRNA) (shown upper right). The affected gene is shown center rear.
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