The characterization of a simple bacterial system using commercially available plasmids and strains, developed to assess the effectiveness of trans-acting (antisense RNA and ribozymes) RNA in Escherichia coli, is reported. This system was used to test various trans-acting RNA molecules against the expression of the I factor, a functional transposable element from Drosophila melanogaster. For this target, results indicate that antisense RNA efficiency depends on the hybridization length between sense and antisense RNA. The introduction of a single hammerhead ribozyme within the antisense RNAs does not increase its inhibitory activity. These predictions were subsequently confirmed in Drosophila melanogaster.