A team of researchers from the Scripps Institute and Novartis this month reported new details about how small RNAs such as siRNAs and microRNAs interact with the RNA-induced silencing complex.

Specifically, the investigators found that highly complementary targets of small RNAs can accelerate the release of guide RNA from Argonaute2 by destabilizing RISC. This “unloading” activity can be further enhanced by mismatches between the target and the 5’ end of the RNA guide strand, but attenuated by mismatches to the 3’ end.

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