Modulating endogenous gene expression of mammalian cells via RNA-small molecule interaction

Nazgul Tuleuova, Chung Il An, Erlan Ramanculov, Alexander Revzin, Yohei Yokobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


RNA interference (RNAi) has emerged as a powerful technology to silence arbitrary genes by designing small RNA constructs based on the targeted messenger RNA sequences. We recently developed a small molecule-controlled RNAi gene switch that combined the molecular recognition by in vitro selected RNA aptamers with versatile gene silencing by small interfering RNAs, and demonstrated for the first time, posttranscriptional modulation of RNAi through direct RNA-small molecule interaction. In this report, we describe the first application of this technology to regulate an endogenous gene in mammalian cells. As a proof-of-concept demonstration we chose to modulate expression of albumin-serum protein produced by the liver. We designed and constructed a theophylline aptamer-fused short hairpin RNA (shRNA) expression vector targeting albumin mRNA in hepatic (HepG2) cells. Transfection of HepG2 cells with the aptamer-shRNA expression vector allowed to control albumin gene expression by adding theophylline into the culture media in dose dependent fashion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-173
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 7 2008


  • Aptamer
  • Gene silencing
  • RNA interference
  • Theophylline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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