Polycistronic Expression of Interfering RNAs from RNA Polymerase III Promoters

  • Laura F. SteelEmail author
  • Viraj R. Sanghvi
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 815)


In many RNA silencing applications, there is a benefit to expressing multiple interfering RNAs simultaneously. This can be achieved by using a single RNA polymerase II promoter to express multiple micro(mi)RNA-formatted interfering RNAs that are arranged in a polycistronic cluster, mimicking the organization of naturally clustered, endogenous miRNAs. While RNA pol III promoters are often used to express individual short hairpin (sh) RNAs, we have recently shown that pol III promoters can also be used to drive polycistronic expression of miRNA-formatted interfering RNAs. Here, we present methods for the assembly of polycistronic miRNA expression vectors that use pol III promoters. In addition, we present methods for testing the potency and the level of expression of each of the individual miRNAs encoded in the construct.

Key words

miRNA expression vectors RNA pol III promoters RNA silencing Polycistronic miRNA Dual luciferase reporter plasmid miRNA northern blot 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious DiseaseDrexel University College of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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