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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Dec 1;350(4):854-9. Epub 2006 Oct 2.

Transcriptional targeting of small interfering RNAs into cancer cells.

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Department of Immunology, Molecular Medicine Group, University Department, University of Oslo, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Montebello, N-310 Oslo, Norway.


Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are widely used for analyzing gene function and have the potential to be developed into human therapeutics. However, persistent siRNA expression in normal cells may cause toxic side effects. Therefore, the therapeutic applications of RNAi in cancer require either the specific delivery of synthetic siRNAs into cancer cells or the control of siRNA expression. Accordingly, we have developed a cancer-specific vector that expresses siRNAs from the human survivin promoter. A plasmid vector expressing siRNAs under this promoter enabled efficient gene silencing of gene expression in different cancer cell lines. The levels of inhibition were comparable to that obtained with the constitutively active U6 promoter. By contrast to U6 promoter, no significant gene silencing was obtained with the Survivin promoter in normal mammary epithelial cells. Collectively, these data indicate that the survivin promoter is suitable for directing siRNA expression in cancer cells, but not normal cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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