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Bacterial synthesis of small interfering RNA

siRNA synthesized in bacteria could have better potency than chemically synthesized siRNA. In Escherichia coli, expression of p19 plus a target gene hairpin enabled the isolation of 21-nucleotide siRNA fragments from the target sequence. p19 is a protein that binds and stabilizes 21-nucleotide siRNA fragments in bacteria. Bacteria-produced siRNA knocked down their targets with potency that was comparable to or greater than that of chemically synthesized siRNAs. Next steps include optimizing the technology to improve the yield of the bacteria-synthesized siRNA.

SciBX 6(11); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.274
Published online March 21, 2013

Patent application filed; available for licensing

Huang, L. et al. Nat. Biotechnol.; published online March 10, 2013;
Contact: Judy Lieberman, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Mass.