RNA interference (RNAi) is a phenomenon through which double stranded RNA (dsRNA) induces potent sequence-specific degradation of homologous transcripts. Besides its function in cellular defense and developmental regulation, it has emerged as an invaluable tool for elucidation of gene function and drug target validation. This is particularly useful when substantial genome sequence data are available. Gene silencing using RNAi can aid translation of raw genomic sequence data into biologically relevant information toward the development of new and/or improved control strategies. Here, we review the current status of RNAi in trypanosome research focusing on challenges involved in the utilization of the technique as well as its potential application in drug target discovery and validation.
Key words: RNA interference, trypanosomes, gene silencing, RNAi library, drug targets
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