Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Biotechnol. 2006 Jun;24(6):697-702. Epub 2006 May 14.

Short hairpin RNA-expressing bacteria elicit RNA interference in mammals.

Author information

Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 330 Brookline Ave., Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


RNA-interference (RNAi) is a potent mechanism, conserved from plants to humans for specific silencing of genes, which holds promise for functional genomics and gene-targeted therapies. Here we show that bacteria engineered to produce a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting a mammalian gene induce trans-kingdom RNAi in vitro and in vivo. Nonpathogenic Escherichia coli were engineered to transcribe shRNAs from a plasmid containing the invasin gene Inv and the listeriolysin O gene HlyA, which encode two bacterial factors needed for successful transfer of the shRNAs into mammalian cells. Upon oral or intravenous administration, E. coli encoding shRNA against CTNNB1 (catenin beta-1) induce significant gene silencing in the intestinal epithelium and in human colon cancer xenografts in mice. These results provide an example of trans-kingdom RNAi in higher organisms and suggest the potential of bacteria-mediated RNAi for functional genomics, therapeutic target validation and development of clinically compatible RNAi-based therapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center