RNA Therapeutics

Volume 629 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 237-253


Inhibition of the microRNA Pathway in Zebrafish by siRNA

  • Anders FjoseAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular Biology, University of Bergen
  • , Xiao-Feng ZhaoAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular Biology, University of Bergen

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The microRNA (miRNA) pathway and the phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi), which have both been shown to involve targeting of mRNAs by small RNA molecules, are interconnected and depend partly on the same cellular machinery. RNAi in vertebrates was first reported in zebrafish (Danio rerio) 10 years ago. However, reliable RNAi-based gene silencing techniques, based on injection of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) into zygotes, have not been established for this important vertebrate model because of unspecific developmental defects. We have recently shown that these side effects can be attributed to inhibition of the miRNA pathway by siRNAs at early embryonic stages. This review highlights these findings and the function of microRNAs in zebrafish development.

Key words

RNAi siRNA microRNA miR-430 zebrafish