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Tool developed to silence genes in specific tissues using RNAi

op designed to complement the RNA produced by the gene they wish to silence, and the other is a "promoter" that provides expression specific to the tissue they want to target. "There are whole batteries of different promoters, ones specifically for skin, or different parts of the brain, or whatever organ or tissue you are likely to want," Wilkinson says. "By swapping out either of these modules, you have the potential to silence any gene in any tissue you might want," he said.

In their study, the researchers made a vector with a promoter specific for nurse cells in the testis, so that the small RNA that is associated with WT1 is only made in this cell type, thereby reducing WT1 levels that are only in the nurse cells. Other organs, like kidney, that need WT1 to function are not affected, Wilkinson says.

"We are very excited about the potential of this approach, and hope that is solves what had become a significant roadblock to effective use of RNAi," he says.


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Source:University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center


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