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Efficient RNAi-induced protein knockdown in somatic cells using diced or chemically produced small interfering RNAs (siRNA)

Tavares, Kaio César Simiano; Pinho, Raquel de Mello e; Carneiro, Igor de Sá; Aguiar, Luís Henrique de; Mendéz Calderón, Carlos Enrique; Martins, Leonardo Tondello; Ambrósio, Carlos Eduardo; Maga, Elizabeth Anne; Bertolini, Marcelo; Murray, James Donald; Bertolini, Luciana Relly.
Acta sci. vet. (Impr.); 40(3): Pub. 1048, 2012. ilus
Artigo em Inglês | VETINDEX | ID: biblio-1373608


Background: RNA interference (RNAi) is a post-transcriptional gene silencing process in which double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) directs the degradation of a specific corresponding target mRNA. The mediators of this process are small dsRNAs of approximately 21 to 23 bp in length, called small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), which can be prepared in vitro and used to direct the degradation of specific mRNAs inside cells. Hence, siRNAs represent a powerful tool to study and control gene and cell function. Rapid progress has been made in the use of siRNA as a means to attenuate the expression of any protein for which the cDNA sequence is known. Individual siRNAs can be chemically synthesized, in vitro-transcribed, or expressed in cells from siRNA expression vectors. However, screening for the most efficient siRNAs for post-transcriptional gene silencing in cells in culture is a laborious and expensive process. In this study, the effectiveness of two siRNA production strategies for the attenuation of abundant proteins for DNA repair were compared in human cells: (a) the in vitro production of siRNA mixtures by the Dicer enzyme (Diced siRNAs); and (b) the chemical synthesis of very specific and unique siRNA sequences (Stealth RNaiTM). Materials, Methods & Results: For in vitro-produced siRNAs, two segments of the human Ku70 (167 bp in exon 5; and 249 bp in exon 13; NM001469) and Xrcc4 (172 bp in exon 2; and 108 bp in exon 6; NM003401) genes were chosen to generate dsRNA for subsequent "Dicing" to create mixtures of siRNAs. The Diced fragments of siRNA for each gene sequence were pooled and stored at -80ºC. Alternatively, chemically synthesized Stealth siRNAs were designed and generated to match two very specific gene sequence regions for each target gene of interest (Ku70 and Xrcc4). HCT116 cells were plated at 30% confluence in 24- or 6-well culture plates. The next day, cells were transfected by lipofection with either Diced or Stealth siRNAs for Ku70 or Xrcc4, in duplicate, at various doses, with blank and sham transfections used as controls. Cells were harvested at 0, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h post-transfection for protein determination. The knockdown of specific targeted gene products was quantified by Western blot using GAPDH as control. Transfection of gene-specific siRNA to either Ku70 or Xrcc4 with both Diced and Stealth siRNAs resulted in a down regulation of the targeted proteins to approximately 10 to 20% of control levels 48 h after transfection, with recovery to pre-treatment levels by 96 h. Discussion: By transfecting cells with Diced or chemically synthesized Stealth siRNAs, Ku70 and Xrcc4, two highly expressed proteins in cells, were effectively attenuated, demonstrating the great potential for the use of both siRNA production strategies as tools to perform loss of function experiments in mammalian cells. In fact, down-regulation of Ku70 and Xrcc4 has been shown to reduce the activity of the non-homologous end joining DNA pathway, a very desirable approach for the use of homologous recombination technology for gene targeting or knockout studies. Stealth RNAiTM was developed to achieve high specificity and greater stability when compared with mixtures of enzymatically-produced (Diced) siRNA fragments. In this study, both siRNA approaches inhibited the expression of Ku70 and Xrcc4 gene products, with no detectable toxic effects to the cells in culture. However, similar knockdown effects using Diced siRNAs were only attained at concentrations 10-fold higher than with Stealth siRNAs. The application of RNAi technology will expand and continue to provide new insights into gene regulation and as potential applications for new therapies, transgenic animal production and basic research.
Biblioteca responsável: BR68.1