Zebrafish has been generally considered as an excellent model in case of drug screening, disease model establishment, and vertebrate embryonic development study. In this work, the ability of human cytomegalovirus immediate early promoter (CMV promoter)-driven short hairpin RNA (shRNA) expression vector to induce shRNA against VEGF gene in zebrafish was tested, and its effect on vascular development was assed, too. Using RT-qPCR, blood vessel staining, and in situ hybridization, we confirmed certain transcriptional activity and down regulation of gene expression by the vector. In situ hybridization analysis indicated selective inhibition of NRP1 expression in the VEGF gene loss of function model, which might imply in turn that VEGF could not only activate endothelial cells directly but also could contribute to stimulating angiogenesis in vivo by a mechanism that involved up-regulation of its cognate receptor expression in zebrafish. This contributed to a better understanding of molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular development. The system improved the success rate in making inducible knockdown and widened the possibilities for better therapeutic targets in zebrafish.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 18, 2009
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