RNA interference-mediated simultaneous silencing of four genes using cross-shaped RNA
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The structural flexibility of RNA interference (RNAi)-triggering nucleic acids suggests that the design of unconventional RNAi trigger structures with novel features is possible. Here, we report a cross-shaped RNA duplex structure, termed quadruple interfering RNA (qiRNA), with multiple target gene silencing activity. qiRNA triggers the simultaneous down-regulation of four cellular target genes via an RNAi mechanism. In addition, qiRNA shows enhanced intracellular delivery and target gene silencing over conventional siRNA when complexed with jetPEI, a linear polyethyleneimine (PEI). We also show that the long antisense strand of qiRNA is incorporated intact into an RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). This novel RNA scaffold further expands the repertoire of RNAi-triggering molecular structures and could be used in the development of therapeutics for various diseases including viral infections and cancer.
Keywordspolyethyleneimine (PEI) quadruple interfering RNA (qiRNA) RNA interference small interfering RNA (siRNA)
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