Date: 30 Jun 2011

Quantification of siRNAs In Vitro and In Vivo

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Abstract

RNA interference (RNAi) is a regulatory mechanism of eukaryotic cells that uses small interfering RNAs (siRNA) to direct homology-dependent control of gene activity. Applications of RNAi include functional genomics, in vivo target validation, and gene-specific medicines. A key to in vivo application of siRNA is the advancement of efficient delivery to organs, tissues, or cell types of interest. There is a need to develop reliable and easy-to-use assays to evaluate siRNA delivery efficiency and distribution, study pathways, and stability of siRNAs in cells (post-transfection) and in animals (post- injection). We have adopted the Applied Biosystems TaqMan® based stem–loop RT-PCR technology, originally developed for quantification of endogenous microRNAs in cells, to fulfill these needs. In this chapter, application protocols are described, which enable robust quantification of siRNA, including chemically modified molecules, in vitro and in vivo.