[Specific inhibition of hTERT gene expression by short interfering RNAs in gastric cancer SGC7901 cell]

Jin-Ping Ma, Wen-Hua Zhan, Jian-Ping Wang, Jun-Sheng Peng, Jin-Song Gao, Qin-Wei Yin
Zhonghua Wai Ke za Zhi [Chinese Journal of Surgery] 2004 November 22, 42 (22): 1372-6

OBJECTIVE: Activation of hTERT, the human telomerase catalytic subunit, has been implicated as the critical event in triggering telomerase activity of cancer cells. In present research, we investigated whether RNA interference (RNAi) induced by small interference RNA (siRNA) could suppress human telomerase catalytic unit (hTERT) gene expression in gastric SGC7901 cells.

METHODS: As a pilot study, we utilized green fluorescent protein (GFP) plasmid pCX-GFP (5 510 bp) as a reporter system and generated constructs SHi-pU6-GFP expressing small hairpin RNA (shRNA) specific for green fluorescence protein (GFP) in K562 and SGC7901 cell respectively. Furthermore, we constructed pU6-hTERT-siRNAs carried hairpin siRNA for hTERT gene and transfected in SGC7901 by using Lipofectamine trade mark 2000. The expression of hTERT gene was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction (FQ-PCR) assay.

RESULTS: Our pilot study showed the short hairpin RNA (shRNA) expression vector driven by the murine U6 small nuclear RNA promoter can specifically induce potent gene knockdown effect (i.e., inhibit GFP expression specifically) when transfected transiently into SGC7901 cell. The constructed pU6-hTERT-siRNAs carried hairpin siRNA for hTERT gene was proved to be the same as designed by restriction endonuclease analysis. pU6-hTERT-siRNAs were successfully transferred into SGC7901 cell and their stable expression were obtained. The expression of hTERT gene were specific inhibited by pU6-hTERT-siRNAs in SGC7901 cell.

CONCLUSIONS: Short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) could induce sequence-specific hTERT gene silencing in SGC7901 cell. Our results prove the feasibility of the U6 promoter-driven shRNA expression technique to be used to cancer gene therapy.

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