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The RNA-induced silencing complex, or RISC, is a multiprotein complex that incorporates one strand of a small interfering RNA (siRNA) or microRNA (miRNA). RISC uses the siRNA or miRNA as a template for recognizing complementary mRNA. When it finds a complementary strand, it activates argonaute (a protein within RISC) and cleaves the RNA. This process is important both in gene regulation by microRNAs and in defense against viral infections, which often use double-stranded RNA as an infectious vector.