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Nature. 2004 Nov 11;432(7014):173-8.

Therapeutic silencing of an endogenous gene by systemic administration of modified siRNAs.

Author information

1
Alnylam Europe AG, Fritz-Hornschuch-Str. 9, 95326 Kulmbach, Germany. jsoutschek@alnylam.de

Abstract

RNA interference (RNAi) holds considerable promise as a therapeutic approach to silence disease-causing genes, particularly those that encode so-called 'non-druggable' targets that are not amenable to conventional therapeutics such as small molecules, proteins, or monoclonal antibodies. The main obstacle to achieving in vivo gene silencing by RNAi technologies is delivery. Here we show that chemically modified short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) can silence an endogenous gene encoding apolipoprotein B (apoB) after intravenous injection in mice. Administration of chemically modified siRNAs resulted in silencing of the apoB messenger RNA in liver and jejunum, decreased plasma levels of apoB protein, and reduced total cholesterol. We also show that these siRNAs can silence human apoB in a transgenic mouse model. In our in vivo study, the mechanism of action for the siRNAs was proven to occur through RNAi-mediated mRNA degradation, and we determined that cleavage of the apoB mRNA occurred specifically at the predicted site. These findings demonstrate the therapeutic potential of siRNAs for the treatment of disease.

PMID:
15538359
DOI:
10.1038/nature03121
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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