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Characteristics of post‐transcriptional gene silencing

Agustin Chicas, Giuseppe Macino

Author Affiliations

  1. Agustin Chicas1 and
  2. Giuseppe Macino*,1
  1. 1 Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Cellulari ed Ematologia, Sezione di Genetica Molecolare, Università di Roma La Sapienza, Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161, Roma, Italy
  1. *Corresponding author. Tel: +39 064452806; Fax: +39 064462891; E-mail: macino{at}bce.uniroma1.it
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Abstract

A number of gene silencing phenomena that inactivate genes at the post‐transcriptional level have been identified. Due to its potential for studying gene function, post‐transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) has become an intense area of research. In this review we describe the different means of inducing PTGS and discuss the possible biological roles of these artificially induced phenomena. We also discuss other features of PTGS such as the mechanism of mRNA degradation, the nature of the silencing signal and the mechanism of PTGS inhibition by viral proteins.

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