A quick and efficient approach for gene silencing by using triple putative microRNA-based short hairpin RNAs
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The RNA interference (RNAi) technique has been widely used in gene function studies. It is typical to screen for effective siRNAs by knocking down targeted genes since a single gene can be suppressed by several siRNAs to varying degrees. The miRNA-based short hairpin RNA (shRNA) is a natural inducer of RNAi and has been used in siRNA expression strategies. We investigated the potential application of multiple putative microRNA-based shRNAs for gene silencing and studied the inhibition efficiency of exogenous GFP and firefly luciferase (luc) by triple human mir155-based shRNA expression vectors. A total of three candidate siRNA sequences targeted against GFP or luc were selected based on an online prediction program. Single and triple miRNA-155-based shRNAs targeted against GFP or luc were transfected into HEK293 cells mediated by the pcDNA3 vector with an RNA polymerase II-type CMV (cytomegalovirus) promoter. Comparisons with negative control shRNAs revealed that GFP levels were markedly reduced by the triple miRNA-155-based GFP shRNA by fluorescent microscopy. Consistent results from the dual luciferase assay and real-time quantitative RT-PCR revealed that the triple miRNA-155-based GFP shRNA significantly suppressed GFP expression (P < 0.01), without significant differences from the most effective single miRNA-155-based GFP shRNA (P > 0.05). Results from the dual luciferase assay and real-time quantitative RT-PCR revealed that the triple miRNA-155-based luc shRNA significantly suppressed luc expression as the most effective single miRNA-155-based luc shRNA (P < 0.05). These studies demonstrated the gene silencing efficiency mediated by the triple putative miRNA-155-based shRNAs. This suggested that multiple miRNA-based shRNAs are quick and valuable strategies for gene silencing.
KeywordsMicroRNAs RNA interference Short hairpin RNA CMV promoter
This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30772142, 30672077, 30772620) and the Natural Science Foundation of the Guangdong Province (No. 06020831).
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