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MicroRNA Studies to Be Enhanced by a New Line of Anti-miRNA Tools

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 13 Feb 2014
Image: An artist's rendition of a Lentivirus expression vehicle (Photo courtesy of AMS Biotechnology ).
Image: An artist's rendition of a Lentivirus expression vehicle (Photo courtesy of AMS Biotechnology ).
A novel line of ready-to-use lentiviral expression vehicles provides microRNAs (miRNAs) and miRNA inhibitors for use as tools for the study of miRNAs and their role in various disease processes.

Lentiviruses, which are members of a subfamily of the retrovirus family, can deliver significant amounts of genetic information into host cells and integrate it into the cellular genome. Genetically engineered lentiviruses are therefore used as one of the most efficient tools of gene delivery. These modified lentiviruses contain a viral promoter that is used to control the expression of a transgene or shRNA but no residual virulence genes. Together with several other security modifications, this ensures their safe use in the laboratory.

MiRNAs comprise a family of small noncoding 19- to 25-nucleotide RNAs that regulate gene expression by targeting mRNAs in a sequence specific manner, inducing translational repression or mRNA degradation, depending on the degree of complementarity between miRNAs and their targets. Many miRNAs are conserved in sequence between distantly related organisms, suggesting that these molecules participate in essential processes. In fact, miRNAs have been shown to be involved in the regulation of gene expression during development, cell proliferation, apoptosis, glucose metabolism, stress resistance, and cancer.

Anti-miRNAs are miRNA inhibitors that are short RNA molecules complementary to the mature miRNA sequence. Anti-miRNA binds to endogenous miRNA and inhibits or down-regulates specific miRNAs. MiRNA inhibitors also show potential as therapeutic agents for some biological malfunctions.

AMS Biotechnology (Abingdon, United Kingdom) has introduced a range of ready-to-use human and mouse Lentivirus products for miRNA and anti-miRNA expression. This range of miRNA inhibitors was produced from optimally designed anti-miRNA lentivectors. AMS Biotechnology's anti-miRNA lentivectors were carefully designed for highest anti-miRNA expression levels with precise promoter transcription position, and to favor the antisense strand for RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) processing.

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