Immunological research using RNA interference technology

Chih Ping Mao, Yen Yu Lin, Chien Fu Hung, T. C. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

RNA interference (RNAi) is a potent method of gene silencing that has developed rapidly over the past few years as a result of its extensive importance in the study of genetics, molecular biology and physiology. RNAi technology has also recently yielded significant insight into the innate and adaptive immune systems by helping to elucidate numerous mechanisms that regulate the development, activation and function of cells that mediate immunity. In addition, because of its ability to suppress gene expression effectively, this technique may be used to regulate the immune response for clinical purposes. Nonetheless, before RNAi can be successfully administered into human patients as a medical treatment, it is necessary to overcome several major limitations of this technology, such as inefficient in vivo delivery, incomplete silencing of target genes, non-specific immune responses, and off-target effects. As novel developments and discoveries in molecular biology swiftly continue to unfold, it is likely that RNAi may soon translate into a potent form of in vivo gene silencing with profound applications to vaccination and immunotherapy. In the present review, we examine the current progress of immunological studies employing RNAi and discuss the prospects for the implementation of this technique in the clinical arena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-307
Number of pages13
JournalImmunology
Volume121
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • Immune regulation
  • Immunotherapy
  • RNA interference
  • Small interfering RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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