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CMBN Guest lecture by Pål Sætrom

CMBN is pleased to announce the following guest lecture:

Synergistic microRNA-like targeting by short interfering RNAs can give robust HIV-inhibition
Pål Sætrom, Bioinformatics & Gene Regulation Group, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim

Wednesday 3 December 2008 at 1300
In auditorium A3.3067, Rikshospitalet

Abstract: For microRNAs (miRNAs), the number of potential target sites within an mRNA's 3' untranslated region (UTR) is an important determinant for the miRNA's regulatory potential. Multiple target sites within a 3' UTR can give synergistic down-regulation, but our results show that this depends on the distance between consecutive target sites. Like miRNAs, short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) induce mRNA cleavage or translational suppression, depending on the degree of complementarity between the siRNA and target site. For siRNAs, translational suppression is normally considered an unwanted source of off-target effects, as siRNAs are designed to have perfect complementarity to a single target gene. We have instead designed siRNAs that cause both targeted cleavage and translational suppression. Our data indicate that such bi-functional siRNAs that target HIV can cause strong and robust knockdown of their targets and prevent long-term viral escape in infected cells. The design principles have wide applications throughout the genome, as about 90% of genes harbor sites that make the design of bi-functional siRNAs possible.

Pål Sætrom is a bioinformatician working on algorithms for predicting microRNA genes and target sites. He has a close collaboration with Prof. John J. Rossi's HIV therapy lab at the Beckman Research Institute of The City of Hope, Duarte, California, where they are testing the new siRNAs/miRNAs for virus knockdown in HIV infected cells.

Pål will be available for discussions after the seminar.

Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience (CMBN)
PO Box 1105 Blindern, NO-0317 Oslo, Norway. Tel: +47 22851528. Fax: +47 22851488