Transformative R01 Program
TRANSCRIPTIONAL ACTIVATION BY SMALL RNA: MECHANISM AND DESIGN RULES
RNAa—a new way to boost gene expression. RNA activation (RNAa) is a recently discovered phenomenon that defies the conventional wisdom: small double stranded RNA (dsRNA) targeting a specific gene promoter can induce potent and prolonged gene expression at the transcriptional level. Shown here is a schematic of RNAa. A dsRNA molecule is introduced to a cell, and is loaded into and processed by an argonaute (Ago) protein. With the help of the Ago protein, the RNA molecule binds to its target site on the promoter and activates transcription by a mechanism that is still a mystery. Inset: gene activation by RNAa in a human fibroblast cell (protein encoded by the gene is shown in green).