Small Molecules and RNAi
RNA interference (RNAi) is a well-conserved mechanism that uses small noncoding RNAs to regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. Although the major components within the RNAi/miRNA pathway have been identified, the molecular mechanisms regulating the activity of the RNAi/miRNA pathway have only begun to emerge.
Chemical biology, in particular the use of diverse chemicals to interrogate molecular processes, provides a novel means of rapidly and effectively dissecting biological mechanisms and gene networks in ways not feasible with mutation-based genetic approaches. Thus, identification of the small molecules modulating the biological activity of the RNAi pathway will allow us to explore miRNA/siRNA biogenesis from a unique angle that could open up a whole new approach for dissecting the RNAi/miRNA pathway, as well as developing novel therapeutic interventions.