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Induction of an interferon response by RNAi vectors in mammalian cells


DNA vectors that express short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) from RNA polymerase III (Pol III) promoters are a promising new tool to reduce gene expression in mammalian cells. shRNAs are processed to small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) of 21 nucleotides (nt) that guide the cleavage of the cognate mRNA by the RNA-induced silencing complex. Although siRNAs are thought to be too short to induce interferon expression, we report here that a substantial number of shRNA vectors can trigger an interferon response.

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Figure 1: OAS1 induction by shRNA vectors.

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We thank P. Gonczy for critical reading of the manuscript, T. Brummelkamp for supplying pSUPER, the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research microarray and bioinformatics core facilities for technical assistance and advice on data analysis and the Swiss National Science Foundation NCCR Molecular Oncology Programme and MEDIC Foundation for financial support.

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Correspondence to Richard Iggo.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Bridge, A., Pebernard, S., Ducraux, A. et al. Induction of an interferon response by RNAi vectors in mammalian cells. Nat Genet 34, 263–264 (2003).

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