Helper-dependent adenovirus-mediated short hairpin RNA expression in the liver activates the interferon response

Scott R. Witting, Matthew Brown, Romil Saxena, Sarah Nabinger, Núria Morral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


The use of RNA interference has proven to be an effective means to study the function of genes. Constitutive synthesis of small interfering RNA molecules can be accomplished with the use of viral vectors expressing short hairpin RNA (shRNA). Binding of shRNA to the target mRNA promotes transcript degradation. So far, little is known about the effects that shRNA induce in vivo. To determine the feasibility of using helper-dependent adenoviral vectors for expression of shRNA in liver, we have designed an shRNA construct to mouse fabp5 (fatty acid-binding protein 5). Intravenous administration of this vector resulted in ∼75% silencing of fabp5. Increasing the dose of vector did not result in higher levels of silencing, indicating that there is a threshold for the level of knockdown that can be achieved. Synthesis of high levels of shRNA molecules did not alter the levels of cellular micro-RNA, such as miR-122 and let-7a, suggesting that the exportin-5 pathway was not affected. However, high level shRNA expression resulted in activation of the interferon response. Thus, an important consideration when using shRNA-based vectors in vivo is to closely monitor signs of interferon-stimulated gene expression, since a narrow window exists between gene silencing efficacy and nonspecific effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2120-2128
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 25 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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