A Simple and Robust Vector-Based shRNA Expression System Used for RNA Interference

Wang, Xue-jun; Li, Ying; Huang, Hai; Zhang, Xiu-juan; Xie, Pei-wen; Hu, Wei; Li, Dan-dan; Wang, Sheng-qi
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Background: RNA interference (RNAi) mediated by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) or short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) has become a powerful genetic tool for conducting functional studies. Previously, vector-based shRNA-expression strategies capable of inducing RNAi in viable cells have been developed, however, these vector systems have some disadvantages, either because they were error-prone or cost prohibitive. Results: In this report we described the development of a simple, robust shRNA expression system utilizing 1 long oligonucleotide or 2 short oligonucleotides for half the cost of conventional shRNA construction methods and with a>95% cloning success rate. The shRNA loop sequence and stem structure were also compared and carefully selected for better RNAi efficiency. Furthermore, an easier strategy was developed based on isocaudomers which permit rapid combination of the most efficient promoter-shRNA cassettes. Finally, using this method, the conservative target sites for hepatitis B virus (HBV) knockdown were systemically screened and HBV antigen expression shown to be successfully suppressed in the presence of connected multiple shRNAs both in vitro and in vivo. Conclusion: This novel design describes an inexpensive and effective way to clone and express single or multiple shRNAs from the same vector with the capacity for potent and effective silencing of target genes.


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