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Herbert M.,Genesis Research and Development Corporation Ltd | Herbert M.,University of Auckland | Coppieters N.,Genesis Research and Development Corporation Ltd | Coppieters N.,University of Auckland | And 7 more authors.
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2011

Background: The use of RNAi to analyse gene function in vitro is now widely applied in biological research. However, several difficulties are associated with its use in vivo, mainly relating to inefficient delivery and non-specific effects of short RNA duplexes in animal models. The latter can lead to false positive results when real-time RT-qPCR alone is used to measure target mRNA knockdown. Findings. We observed that detection of an apparent siRNA-mediated knockdown in vivo was dependent on the primers used for real-time RT-qPCR measurement of the target mRNA. Two siRNAs specific for RRM1 with equivalent activity in vitro were administered to A549 xenografts via intratumoural injection. In each case, apparent knockdown of RRM1 mRNA was observed only when the primer pair used in RT-qPCR flanked the siRNA cleavage site. This false-positive result was found to result from co-purified siRNA interfering with both reverse transcription and qPCR. Conclusions: Our data suggest that using primers flanking the siRNA-mediated cleavage site in RT-qPCR-based measurements of mRNA knockdown in vivo can lead to false positive results. This is particularly relevant where high concentrations of siRNA are introduced, particularly via intratumoural injection, as the siRNA may be co-purified with the RNA and interfere with downstream enzymatic steps. Based on these results, using primers flanking the siRNA target site should be avoided when measuring knockdown of target mRNA by real-time RT-qPCR. © 2011 Reid et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Lasham A.,University of Auckland | Lasham A.,Genesis Research and Development Corporation Ltd | Samuel W.,University of Sydney | Cao H.,Genesis Research and Development Corporation Ltd | And 15 more authors.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2012

Background Y-box binding factor 1 (YB-1) has been associated with prognosis in many tumor types. Reduced YB-1 expression inhibits tumor cell growth, but the mechanism is unclear. Methods YB-1 mRNA levels were compared with tumor grade and histology using microarray data from 771 breast cancer patients and with disease-free survival and distant metastasis-free survival using data from 375 of those patients who did not receive adjuvant therapy. Microarrays were further searched for genes that had correlated expression with YB-1 mRNA. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) was used to study the effects of reduced YB-1 expression on growth of three tumor cell lines (MCF-7 breast, HCT116 colon, and A549 lung cancer cells), on tumorigenesis by A549 cells in nude mice, and on global transcription in the three cancer cell lines. Reporter gene assays were used to determine whether YB-1 siRNAs affected the expression of E2F1, and chromatin immunoprecipitation was used to determine whether YB-1 bound to various E2F promoters as well as E2F1-regulated promoters. All P values were from two-sided tests. ResultsYB-1 levels were elevated in more aggressive tumors and were strongly associated with poor disease-free survival and distant metastasis-free survival. YB-1 expression was often associated with the expression of genes with E2F sites in their promoters. Cells expressing YB-1 siRNA grew substantially more slowly than control cells and formed tumors less readily in nude mice. Transcripts that were altered in cancer cell lines with YB-1 siRNA included 32 genes that are components of prognostic gene expression signatures. YB-1 regulated expression of an E2F1 promoter-reporter construct in A549 cells (eg, relative E2F1 promoter activity with control siRNA = 4.04; with YB-1 siRNA = 1.40, difference=-2.64, 95% confidence interval =-3.57 to-1.71, P <. 001) and bound to the promoters of several well-defined E2F1 target genes. ConclusionYB-1 expression is associated with the activity of E2F transcription factors and may control tumor cell growth by this mechanism. © 2012 The Author.

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