RNA interference (RNAi) induces gene silencing at a level of posttranscription mediated by double stranded RNA. There are numerous methods for delivery of small double-stranded interference RNA (siRNA) to the target cells, including nonviral and viral vectors. Among these methods, viral vectors are the more efficient vehicles. The expression of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) by viral vectors in target cells can be cut by Dicer enzyme to become ∼21 bp siRNA, which could guide degradation of cognate mRNA. RNAi technology can be directed against cancer using a variety of strategies, including the inhibition of overexpressed oncogenes, promoting apoptosis, regulating cell cycle, antiangiogenesis and enhancing the efficacy of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Since RNAi technology has become an excellent strategy for cancer gene therapy, this review outlines the latest developments and applications of such a novel technology.
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Acknowledgements This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program (973 Program) (Grant No. 2004CB518804).