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- RNAi has mainly two purposes:
- degrade hostile RNA from viruses and transposons (exogenous RNAi)
- regulate gene expression on a post-transcriptional level (endogenous RNAi)
- Initially, double stranded miRNA/siRNA is cleaved into shorter fragments by the endoribonuclease enzyme Dicer.
- Interaction complex that is formed by single stranded miRNA/siRNA, targeted mRNA and proteins is called “RNA induced silencing complex” (RISC).
- The formation of the RISC will either result in degradation of target mRNA or in repression of translation of target mRNA.
- mRNA is degraded if pairing of miRNA/siRNA is fully complementary.
- Translation of mRNA is repressed/disturbed if pairing of miRNA is not fully complementary.