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3’-Poly(A) tail enhances siRNA activity against exogenous reporter genes in MCF-7 cells

Research Article

J RNAi Gene Silenc (July 2006), 2(2), 195-204

doi: jrgsxx

Published online: 17 July 2006

Full Text: (html | pdf ~1700kb | refs)

3’-Poly(A) tail enhances siRNA activity against exogenous reporter genes in MCF-7 cells

Jie Li, Guang Yang, Shaohua Li, Guojun Cao, Qiang Zhao, Xuemei Liu, Ming Fan, Beifen Shen, Ningsheng Shao*

Beijing Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, 27 Taiping Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100850, China

*Correspondence to: Ningsheng Shao, Email: shaons@yahoo.com, Tel: +010 68163140, Fax: +010 68163140

Received: 06 May 2006, Revised: 01 July 2006, Accepted: 10 July 2006

© Copyright The Authors

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ABSTRACT

RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool in the study of gene function. We added poly(A) tails to the 3′ ends of siRNA antisense strands by in vitro transcription, and investigated the silencing effects of poly (A)-tailed siRNAs on enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) and red fluorescence protein (RFP) genes. The results of this study showed that siRNAs with single-stranded 3’-poly(A) tails at antisense strands had noticeably stronger silencing effect on exogenous reporter genes than their corresponding parental forms. The enhanced silencing effect appears to be related to the length of poly(A) but was non siRNA sequence-specific. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that weakly-activated PKR and reduced stability of mRNAs of exogenous reporter genes in vivo may be the possible mechanisms of this non-specific enhanced silencing effect. Our findings are likely to be of value in designing siRNAs with enhanced activity.

KEYWORDS: siRNA , poly(A) tail, non-specific, enhanced gene silencing

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