Novel modes of protein-RNA recognition in the RNAi pathway

Andreas Lingel, Michael Sattler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Gene silencing mediated by RNA interference (RNAi) depends on short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and micro RNAs (miRNAs). These RNAs have unique features, namely a defined size of 19-21 base pairs, and characteristic two-nucleotide single-stranded 3′ overhangs and 5′ monophosphate groups. These molecular features of siRNAs and miRNAs are produced by RNase III enzymes, which are a hallmark of gene silencing induced by double-stranded RNA. Recent structural studies of components of the RNAi pathway, including PAZ, Piwi and RNase III domains, as well as full-length Argonaute and viral p19 proteins, have revealed distinct and novel modes of sequence-independent recognition of the characteristic features of siRNAs and miRNAs in the RNAi pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


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