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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:859240. doi: 10.1155/2010/859240. Epub 2010 Nov 28.

Lentiviral-mediated RNA interference against TGF-beta receptor type II in renal epithelial and fibroblast cell populations in vitro demonstrates regulated renal fibrogenesis that is more efficient than a nonlentiviral vector.

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Centre for Kidney Disease Research, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia.



Lentiviral constructs reportedly can integrate into the genome of non-dividing, terminally differentiated cells and dividing cells, for long-term gene expression. This investigation tested whether a third generation lentiviral-mediated small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivered into renal epithelial and fibroblast cells against type II transforming growth factor-beta receptor (siRNA-TBRII) could better attenuate renal fibrogenesis in comparison with a non-lentiviral construct.


HIV-derived lentiviral and non-lentiviral constructs were used to transfect cells with siRNA-TBRII or siRNA-EGFP control. Human embryonic kidney (HEK-293T), renal epithelial cells (NRK-52E) and renal fibroblasts (NRK-49F) were transfected and gene silencing quantified (fluorescence microscopy, Western blotting, fluorescence-activated cell sorting). Renal fibrogenesis was assessed using extracellular matrix protein synthesis (fibronectin and collagen-III; Western immunoblot), and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) was analysed as a marker of fibroblast activation and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transdifferentiation (EMT).


Lentiviral-mediated siRNA-TBRII significantly suppressed TBRII expression in all cell lines, and also significantly suppressed renal fibrogenesis. In comparison with the non-lentiviral construct, lentiviral-mediated siRNA-TBRII produced stronger and more persistent inhibition of collagen-III in NRK-49F cells, fibronectin in all renal cell lines, and α-SMA in renal epithelial cells.


Lentiviral vector systems against TBRII can be delivered into renal cells to efficiently limit renal fibrogenesis by sequence-specific gene silencing.

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