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Mol Ther. 2005 Apr;11(4):638-44.

RNA interference mediated in human primary cells via recombinant baculoviral vectors.

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Department of Oncology, Guy's, King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine, The Rayne Institute, St Thomas' Hospital, London SE1 7EH, UK.


The success of RNA interference (RNAi) in mammalian cells, mediated by siRNAs or shRNA-generating plasmids, is dependent, to an extent, upon transfection efficiency. This is a particular problem with primary cells, which are often difficult to transfect using cationic lipid vehicles. Effective RNAi in primary cells is thus best achieved with viral vectors, and retro-, adeno-, and lentivirus RNAi systems have been described. However, the use of such human viral vectors is inherently problematic, e.g., Class 2 status and requirement of secondary helper functions. Although insect cells are their natural host, baculoviruses also transduce a range of vertebrate cell lines and primary cells with high efficiency. The inability of baculoviral vectors to replicate in mammalian cells, their Class 1 status, and the simplicity of their construction make baculovirus an attractive alternative gene delivery vector. We have developed a baculoviral-based RNAi system designed to express shRNAs and GFP from U6 and CMV promoters, respectively. Transduction of Saos2, HepG2, Huh7, and primary human hepatic stellate cells with a baculoviral construct expressing shRNAs targeting lamin A/C resulted in effective knockdown of the corresponding mRNA and protein. Development of this baculoviral-based system provides an additional shRNA delivery option for RNAi-based investigations in mammalian cells.

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