RNAi in adult mice

RNA interference has been used to silence gene expression in living mice.

Jonathan Weitzman(

Small interference RNAs (siRNAs) have shown great potential as gene silencing reagents in a wide range of experimental systems. In the 4 July Nature, Anton McCaffrey and colleagues at the Stanford University School of Medicine report the use of siRNAs to inhibit transgene expression in adult mice and to target hepatitis C virus sequences in vivo (Nature 2002, 418:38-39).

They used a modified hydrodynamic transfection method to deliver naked siRNAs to the liver of adult mice. They then monitored expression of a firefly luciferase reporter transgene using whole-body imaging techniques. McCaffrey et al. report specific siRNA-mediated inhibition (around 80%) of luciferase expression. They also found that small-hairpin RNAs, transcribed in vivo from DNA templates, could induce gene silencing in mice.

When siRNA was directed against the NS5B (non-structural protein 5B, viral polymerase-encoding region) it was also effective, suggesting that RNAi-based strategies may be used therapeutically to...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?