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J Immunol. 2002 Nov 15;169(10):5754-60.

Small interfering RNA-mediated gene silencing in T lymphocytes.

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Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 40 Ames Street E17-526, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Introduction of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) into a cell can cause a specific interference of gene expression known as RNA interference (RNAi). However, RNAi activity in lymphocytes and in normal primary mammalian cells has not been thoroughly demonstrated. In this report, we show that siRNAs complementary to CD4 and CD8alpha specifically reduce surface expression of these coreceptors and their respective mRNA in a thymoma cell line model. We show that RNAi activity is only caused by a subset of siRNAs complementary to the mRNA target and that ineffective siRNAs can compete with effective siRNAs. Using primary differentiated T lymphocytes, we provide the first evidence of siRNA-mediated RNAi gene silencing in normal nontransformed somatic mammalian lymphocytes.

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