Indexed on: 18 Feb '05Published on: 18 Feb '05Published in: Biology of the Cell
RNA interference is a mechanism displayed by most eukaryotic cells to rid themselves of foreign double-stranded RNA molecules. In the six years since the initial report, RNA interference has now been demonstrated to function in mammalian cells to alter gene expression, and has been used as a means for genetic discovery as well as a possible strategy for genetic correction. An equally popular topic over the past six years has been the proposal to utilize embryonic stem cells or adult stem cells as cell-based therapies for human diseases. The aim of this review is to provide a general overview of how RNA interference suppresses gene expression and to examine some published RNA interference approaches that have resulted in changes in stem cell function and suggest the possible clinical relevance of this work.