Interagon AS

NO Trondheim, Norway

Interagon AS

NO Trondheim, Norway
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Tiemann K.,Beckman Research Institute | Hohn B.,Beckman Research Institute | Hohn B.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Ehsani A.,Beckman Research Institute | And 4 more authors.
RNA | Year: 2010

We have developed an algorithm for the prediction of dual-targeting short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) in which both strands are deliberately designed to separately target different mRNA transcripts with complete complementarity. An advantage of this approach versus the use of two separate duplexes is that only two strands, as opposed to four, are competing for entry into the RNA-induced silencing complex. We chose to design our dual-targeting siRNAs as Dicer substrate 25/27mer siRNAs, since design features resembling pre-microRNAs (miRNAs) can be introduced for Dicer processing. Seven different dual-targeting siRNAs targeting genes that are potential targets in cancer therapy have been developed including Bcl2, Stat3, CCND1, BIRC5, and MYC. The dual-targeting siRNAs have been characterized for dual target knockdown in three different cell lines (HEK293, HCT116, and PC3), where they were as effective as their corresponding single-targeting siRNAs in target knockdown. The algorithm developed in this study should prove to be useful for predicting dual-targeting siRNAs in a variety of different targets and is available from Copyright © 2010 RNA Society.

Ehsani A.,Beckman Research Institute | Saetrom P.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Saetrom P.,Interagon AS | Zhang J.,Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences | And 7 more authors.
Molecular Therapy | Year: 2010

Small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are distinguished by their modes of action. SiRNAs serve as guides for sequence-specific cleavage of complementary mRNAs and the targets can be in coding or noncoding regions of the target transcripts. MiRNAs inhibit translation via partially complementary base-pairing to 3′ untranslated regions (UTRs) and are generally ineffective when targeting coding regions of a transcript. In this study, we deliberately designed siRNAs that simultaneously direct cleavage and translational suppression of HIV RNAs, or cleavage of the mRNA encoding the HIV coreceptor CCR5 and suppression of translation of HIV. These bifunctional siRNAs trigger inhibition of HIV infection and replication in cell culture. The design principles have wide applications throughout the genome, as about 90% of genes harbor sites that make the design of bifunctional siRNAs possible. © The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.

Thomas L.F.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Thomas L.F.,Interagon AS | Saetrom P.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Saetrom P.,Interagon AS
PLoS Computational Biology | Year: 2012

Alternative polyadenylation (APA) can for example occur when a protein-coding gene has several polyadenylation (polyA) signals in its last exon, resulting in messenger RNAs (mRNAs) with different 3′ untranslated region (UTR) lengths. Different 3′UTR lengths can give different microRNA (miRNA) regulation such that shortened transcripts have increased expression. The APA process is part of human cells' natural regulatory processes, but APA also seems to play an important role in many human diseases. Although altered APA in disease can have many causes, we reasoned that mutations in DNA elements that are important for the polyA process, such as the polyA signal and the downstream GU-rich region, can be one important mechanism. To test this hypothesis, we identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that can create or disrupt APA signals (APA-SNPs). By using a data-integrative approach, we show that APA-SNPs can affect 3′UTR length, miRNA regulation, and mRNA expression-both between homozygote individuals and within heterozygote individuals. Furthermore, we show that a significant fraction of the alleles that cause APA are strongly and positively linked with alleles found by genome-wide studies to be associated with disease. Our results confirm that APA-SNPs can give altered gene regulation and that APA alleles that give shortened transcripts and increased gene expression can be important hereditary causes for disease. © 2012 Thomas Sætrom.

Thomas L.F.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Thomas L.F.,Interagon AS | Saito T.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Saetrom P.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Saetrom P.,Interagon AS
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2011

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate genes post transcription by pairing with messenger RNA (mRNA). Variants such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in miRNA regulatory regions might result in altered protein levels and disease. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) aim at identifying genomic regions that contain variants associated with disease, but lack tools for finding causative variants. We present a computational tool that can help identifying SNPs associated with diseases, by focusing on SNPs affecting miRNA-regulation of genes. The tool predicts the effects of SNPs in miRNA target sites and uses linkage disequilibrium to map these miRNA-related variants to SNPs of interest in GWAS. We compared our predicted SNP effects in miRNA target sites with measured SNP effects from allelic imbalance sequencing. Our predictions fit measured effects better than effects based on differences in free energy or differences of TargetScan context scores. We also used our tool to analyse data from published breast cancer and Parkinson's disease GWAS and significant trait-associated SNPs from the NHGRI GWAS Catalog. A database of predicted SNP effects is available at The database is based on haplotype data from the CEU HapMap population and miRNAs from miRBase 16.0. © 2011 The Author(s).

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