Inhibition of SARS-CoV replication by siRNA

Chang-Jer Wu, Hui-Wen Huang, Chiu-Yi Liu, Cheng-Fong Hong, Yi-Lin Chan
Antiviral Research 2005, 65 (1): 45-8
Serious outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), caused by the newly discovered coronavirus SARS-CoV, occurred between late 2002 and early 2003 and there is an urgent need for effective antiviral agents. RNA interference in animals and post-transcriptional gene silencing plants is mediated by small double-stranded RNA molecules named small interfering RNA (siRNA). Recently, siRNA-induced RNA interference(RNAi) may provide a new approach to therapy for pathogenic viruses, e.g. HIV and HCV. In this study, the silencing potential of seven synthetic siRNAs against SARS-CoV leader, TRS, 3'-UTR and Spike coding sequence have been applied to explore the possibility for prevention of SARS-CoV infection. We demonstrate that siRNAs directed against Spike sequences and the 3'-UTR can inhibit the replication of SARS-CoV in Vero-E6 cells, and holds out promise for the development of an effective antiviral agent against SARS-CoV.

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