A long double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-producing vector driven by fugu double U6 promotors, in which the two promoters were arranged in a head-to-head fashion, was newly constructed. To determine whether the DNA-vector-based long dsRNAs can induce sequence-specific RNA interference (RNAi), Epithelioma papulosum cyprini (EPC) cells and chinook salmon embryonic (CHSE-214) cells were transfected with the long dsRNA vector targeting the G gene of VHSV, and its effect on expression of the G gene and viral proliferation was investigated. The sequence-specific inhibitory effect was further confirmed by analysis of interferon (IFN)-triggered Mx1 gene expression and cross-protection against infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV). The fugu double U6 promoter–driven vector successfully produced long dsRNAs in EPC cells, a system that allows continuous production of long dsRNAs in transfected cells. The plasmid-based long dsRNAs targeting the VHSV G gene effectively suppressed G gene expression, but control dsRNAs targeting the EGFP gene did not. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in Mx gene expression between cells transfected with the long dsRNA-producing vector and those transfected with the control empty vector. These results suggest that G gene expression was suppressed not by type-I-IFN-mediated nonspecific inhibition but in a sequence-specific manner. Both EPC and CHSE-214 cells transfected with plasmids producing long dsRNAs targeting the VHSV G gene were protected against VHSV infection but were not protected against IHNV infection, suggesting sequence-specific RNAi-mediated inhibition of viral proliferation. In conclusion, we show, for the first time, long-dsRNA-mediated RNAi in fish cells. The DNA-vector-based long dsRNAs may provide an efficient tool for analysis of gene function in fish cells without preliminary burdensome work for selection of effective siRNA clones, and it may be applied as an antiviral measure in cultured fish.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2012
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