Assessment of allele-specific gene silencing by RNA interference with mutant and wild-type reporter alleles

Journal of RNAi and Gene Silencing 02/2006; 2(1):154-60.
Source: PubMed


Allele-specific gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi) is therapeutically useful for specifically suppressing the expression of alleles associated with disease. To realize such allele-specific RNAi (ASPRNAi), the design and assessment of small interfering RNA (siRNA) duplexes conferring ASP-RNAi is vital, but is also difficult. Here, we show ASP-RNAi against the Swedish- and London-type amyloid precursor protein (APP) variants related to familial Alzheimer's disease using two reporter alleles encoding the Photinus and Renilla luciferase genes and carrying mutant and wild-type allelic sequences in their 3'-untranslated regions. We examined the effects of siRNA duplexes against the mutant alleles in allele-specific gene silencing and off-target silencing against the wild-type allele under heterozygous conditions, which were generated by cotransfecting the reporter alleles and siRNA duplexes into cultured human cells. Consistently, the siRNA duplexes determined to confer ASP-RNAi also inhibited the expression of the bona fide mutant APP and the production of either amyloid beta 40- or 42-peptide in Cos-7 cells expressing both the full-length Swedish- and wild-type APP alleles. The present data suggest that the system with reporter alleles may permit the preclinical assessment of siRNA duplexes conferring ASP-RNAi, and thus contribute to the design and selection of the most suitable of such siRNA duplexes.

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Available from: Hirohiko Hohjoh
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    • "However, the differentiation of the allele's expression level on the basis of a single mismatch occurring within siRNA duplexes or RNA/DNA duplexes of SNP variants of RNA is not as obvious and simple as it might seem. Single mismatch was reported as a target for allele discrimination mostly with the use of RNA interference[39,40,42,47,555657. The data presented here showed that a single mismatch used in the tandem ASO oligonucleotide approach could be applied to the SNP-selective degradation of WT and Mut RNAs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Antisense oligonucleotides have been studied for many years as a tool for gene silencing. One of the most difficult cases of selective RNA silencing involves the alleles of single nucleotide polymorphisms, in which the allele sequence is differentiated by a single nucleotide. A new approach to improve the performance of allele selectivity for antisense oligonucleotides is proposed. It is based on the simultaneous application of two oligonucleotides. One is complementary to the mutated form of the targeted RNA and is able to activate RNase H to cleave the RNA. The other oligonucleotide, which is complementary to the wild type allele of the targeted RNA, is able to inhibit RNase H cleavage. Five types of SNPs, C/G, G/C, G/A, A/G, and C/U, were analyzed within the sequence context of genes associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), and Machado-Joseph disease. For most analyzed cases, the application of the tandem approach increased allele-selective RNA degradation 1.5-15 fold relative to the use of a single antisense oligonucleotide. The presented study proves that differentiation between single substitution is highly dependent on the nature of the SNP and surrounding nucleotides. These variables are crucial for determining the proper length of the inhibitor antisense oligonucleotide. In the tandem approach, the comparison of thermodynamic stability of the favorable duplexes WT RNA-inhibitor and Mut RNA-gapmer with the other possible duplexes allows for the evaluation of chances for the allele-selective degradation of RNA. A larger difference in thermodynamic stability between favorable duplexes and those that could possibly form, usually results in the better allele selectivity of RNA degradation.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    • "For verifying efficacy of siRNA, we used mouse NIH3T3 embryonic fibroblast cell line (35 mm diameter), in which endogenous Col6a1 expression was quite low. The luciferase-based reporter alleles in phRL-TK (Renila luciferase) and pGL3-TK (Photinus luciferase) plasmids were generated according to previous report.25 The wild-type or mutated 31-bp sequences which contain each upstream and downstream 15-bp sequences around a mutation site in COL6A1 were inserted into 3′-untranslated region of luciferase genes (Figure 1b). "
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    ABSTRACT: Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy (UCMD) is an inherited muscle disorder characterized clinically by muscle weakness, distal joint hyperlaxity, and proximal joint contractures. Sporadic and recessive mutations in the three collagen VI genes, COL6A1, COL6A2, and COL6A3, are reported to be causative. In the sporadic forms, a heterozygous point mutation causing glycine substitution in the triple helical domain has been identified in higher rate. In this study, we examined the efficacy of siRNAs, which target point mutation site, on specific knockdown toward transcripts from mutant allele and evaluated consequent cellular phenotype of UCMD fibroblasts. We evaluated the effect of siRNAs targeted to silence-specific COL6A1 alleles in UCMD fibroblasts, where simultaneous expression of both wild-type and mutant collagen VI resulted in defective collagen localization. Addition of mutant-specific siRNAs allowed normal extracellular localization of collagen VI surrounding fibroblasts, suggesting selective inhibition of mutant collagen VI. Targeting the single-nucleotide COL6A1 c.850G>A (p.G284R) mutation responsible a sporadic autosomal dominant form of UCMD can potently and selectively block expression of mutant collagen VI. These results suggest that allele-specific knockdown of the mutant mRNA can potentially be considered as a therapeutic procedure in UCMD due to COL6A1 point mutations.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids
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    • "There have been previously published reports of effective allele-specific siRNAs and shRNAs against genes linked to other neurodegenerative diseases, emphasizing the current interest and feasibility of this approach. Some examples include: ataxin 7 (spinocerebellar ataxia type 7; [37]), ataxin 3 (Machado-Joseph disease; [36], [58]), amyloid precursor protein APP (Alzheimer's disease; [59], [60], [61], [62]), prion protein (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; [63]), and huntingtin (Huntington's disease; [40], [42], [64], [65], [66]) and the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene SOD1 (hereditary amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ALS; [40], [44], [45], [46], [67], [68], [69]). "
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    ABSTRACT: Since RNA interference (RNAi) has the potential to discriminate between single nucleotide changes, there is growing interest in the use of RNAi as a promising therapeutical approach to target dominant disease-associated alleles. Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene have been linked to dominantly inherited Parkinson's disease (PD). We focused on three LRRK2 mutations (R1441G/C and the more prevalent G2109S) hoping to identify shRNAs that would both recognize and efficiently silence the mutated alleles preferentially over the wild-type alleles. Using a luciferase-based reporter system, we identified shRNAs that were able to specifically target the R1441G and R1441C alleles with 80% silencing efficiency. The same shRNAs were able to silence specifically mRNAs encoding either partial or full-length mutant LRRK2 fusion proteins, while having a minimal effect on endogenous wild-type LRRK2 expression when transfected in 293FT cells. Shifting of the mutant recognition site (MRS) from position 11 to other sites (4 and 16, within the 19-mer window of our shRNA design) reduced specificity and overall silencing efficiency. Developing an allele-specific RNAi of G2019S was problematic. Placement of the MRS at position 10 resulted in efficient silencing of reporters (75-80%), but failed to discriminate between mutant and wild-type alleles. Shifting of the MRS to positions 4, 5, 15, 16 increased the specificity of the shRNAs, but reduced the overall silencing efficiency. Consistent with previous reports, these data confirm that MRS placement influences both allele-specificity and silencing strength of shRNAs, while further modification to hairpin design or MRS position may lead to the development of effective G2019S shRNAs. In summary, the effective shRNA against LRRK2 R1441 alleles described herein suggests that RNAi-based therapy of inherited Parkinson's disease is a viable approach towards developing effective therapeutic interventions for this serious neurodegenerative disease.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2011 · PLoS ONE
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