Dr. Anil Sood currently serves as professor and vice chair for translational research in the cancer biology and gynecologic oncology departments of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Also co-director of the Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA, Dr. Anil Sood has researched the role of siRNA in cancer treatment.
Small interfering RNA, also known as small interfering RNA or siRNA, is a class of ribonucleic acid molecule. It is a form of double-stranded RNA that has two nucleotides on each end. These nucleotides can result in gene silencing by causing the breakdown of messenger RNA, in a process known as RNA Interference.
Each siRNA includes two RNA strands: a guide strand, and a passenger strand. Once incorporated into a cell (which can take place via a variety of delivery methods including nanoparticles and viral assisted transport), the guide strand attaches to a protein complex known as an RNAi-induced silencing complex, or RISC.
Once the RISC finds a target mRNA, it separates. Scientists believe that the guide strand then leads the breakdown of the associated strand on the mRNA. The resultant inhibiting effect on gene expression can have therapeutic value for patients with a number of conditions, including cancer.