Introduction: Since the completion of genome sequencing, gene silencing technologies have emerged as powerful tools to study gene functions in various biological processes, both in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, they have also been proposed as therapeutic agents to inhibit selected genes in a variety of pathological conditions, such as cancer, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular diseases. Area covered: This review summarizes the mechanisms of action and applications of genome editing tools, from RNA interference to clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-based systems, in research and in clinics. We describe their essential role in high-throughput genetic screens and, in particular, in functional proteomics studies, to identify diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets. Indeed, gene silencing and proteomics have been extensively integrated to study global proteome changes, posttranslational modifications, and protein–protein interactions. Expert commentary: Functional proteomics approaches that leverage gene silencing tools have been successfully applied to examine the role of several genes in various contexts, leading to a deeper knowledge of biological pathways and disease mechanisms. Recent developments of gene silencing tools have improved their performance, also in terms of off-targets effects reduction, paving the way for a wider therapeutic application of these systems.
- gene silencing
- posttranslational modifications
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology