Improving miRNA Delivery by Optimizing miRNA Expression Cassettes in Diverse Virus Vectors

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The RNA interference pathway is an evolutionary conserved post-transcriptional gene regulation mechanism that is exclusively triggered by double-stranded RNA inducers. RNAi-based methods and technologies have facilitated the discovery of many basic science findings and spurred the development of novel RNA therapeutics. Transient induction of RNAi via transfection of synthetic small interfering RNAs can trigger the selective knockdown of a target mRNA. For durable silencing of gene expression, either artificial short hairpin RNA or microRNA encoding transgene constructs were developed. These miRNAs are based on the molecules that induce the natural RNAi pathway in mammals and humans: the endogenously expressed miRNAs. Significant efforts focused on the construction and delivery of miRNA cassettes in order to solve basic biology questions or to design new therapy strategies. Several viral vectors have been developed, which are particularly useful for the delivery of miRNA expression cassettes to specific target cells. Each vector system has its own unique set of distinct properties. Thus, depending on the specific application, a particular vector may be most suitable. This field was previously reviewed for different viral vector systems, and now the recent progress in the field of miRNA-based gene-silencing approaches using lentiviral vectors is reported. The focus is on the unique properties and respective limitations of the available vector systems for miRNA delivery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-190
JournalHuman gene therapy methods
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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