[Inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor gene expression and proliferation of leukemia cells by RNA interference]

Hui-ling Shen, Wen-lin Xu, Zhao-yang Wu, Yan-yan Qi, Xi-ming Zhong, Wei-bing Huang, Ming Xiao
Zhonghua Xue Ye Xue za Zhi, Zhonghua Xueyexue Zazhi 2005, 26 (12): 710-4

OBJECTIVE: To explore the feasibility of selective inhibiting VEGF expression using VEGF short hairpin RNA (shRNA) interference, and observe the effects of VEGF gene silencing on NB4 cells growth.

METHODS: Three 19 bp reverse repeated motifs targeting exons 3, 4, 5 respectively of VEGF gene were synthesized and cloned into eukaryotic expression plasmid pGenesil-1 containing U6 shRNA promoter and termination signal of RNA polymerase. The recombinant plasmids pGenesil-VR1, pGenesil-VR2, pGenesil-VR3 and pGenesil-con (plasmid containing random DNA fragment) were transfected into NB4 cells respectively through lipofectamine reagent. The alteration of VEGF expression was examined by fluorescent real time RT-PCR and Western blot. The proliferation capacity of leukemia cells was measured by trypan blue exclusion, MTT assay, colony formation assay and cell cycles analysis.

RESULTS: Recombinant plasmids containing three shRNAs and random fragment were successfully constructed and transfected into NB4 cells respectively by liposome-mediated gene transfer method. shRNA in pGenesil-VR3 cells knocked down the expression of VEGF mRNA and protein dramatically in a sequence-specific manner when compared with that of pGenesil-VR1, Genesil-VR2 and pGenesil-con. The NB4 cells transfected with pGenesil-VR3 (NB4-VR3) had a more significant decrease in proliferation ability than NB4 and that transfected with pGenesil-con (NB4-con). The colony forming efficiencies of NB4-VR3, NB4-con and NB4 cell were (13.3 +/- 3.8)%, (21.3 +/- 6.4)% and (24.5 +/- 5.2)%, respectively (P < 0.05). Higher G(1) and lower S proportion were found in cell cycle distribution in comparison with the control groups by FCM.

CONCLUSIONS: The shRNA can efficiently suppress VEGF expression in NB4 cells. Selective VEGF gene silence can inhibit the malignant proliferation of leukemia cells.

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