Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Class Of Antibiotics Can Enhance Gene-silencing Tool

Date:
July 22, 2008
Source:
Emory University
Summary:
The selective gene-silencing technique called RNA interference holds promise for medicine if it can be adapted to work in humans. Certain antibiotic compounds called fluoroquinolones enhance the effectiveness of RNA interference in cells and could reduce potential side effects.

A way to turn off one gene at a time has earned acceptance in biology laboratories over the last decade. Doctors envision the technique, called RNA interference, as a tool to treat a variety of diseases if it can be adapted to humans.

Related Articles


Emory University researchers have discovered that antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones can make RNA interference more effective in the laboratory and reduce potential side effects.

"The surprising aspect is that some fluoroquinolones have this previously unrecognized property," says senior author Peng Jin, PhD, assistant professor of human genetics at Emory University School of Medicine. "The good part is that doctors have years of experience treating bacterial infections with them, so they are generally considered safe."

The most powerful enhancer of RNA interference was enoxacin, which has been used to treat gonorrhea and urinary tract infections. The group of compounds also includes the widely used antibiotic ciprofloxacin. The antibiotics' effect on RNA interference appears to be chemically separate from their bacteria-killing activities.

Significant barriers still prevent RNA interference from working well in people, Jin says.

"The barriers include specificity and toxicity, as well as getting the RNA to the right place in the body," he says. "If we can enhance how potent a given amount of RNA is and reduce dosage, we're tackling both specificity and toxicity."

Some studies have found that side effects come from the amount of RNA injected, which can trigger an anti-viral response, rather than from the genetic sequence of the RNA used.

Andrew Fire and Craig Mello received the 2006 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery that short pieces of RNA, when introduced into cells, can silence a stretch of genetic code. Artificially introduced RNA hijacks machinery inside the cell called the RNA-induced silencing complex or RISC.

To probe how RISC works, Jin and his co-workers inserted a gene for a fluorescent protein into a cell line, and then added a short piece of RNA that incompletely silences the inserted gene. That way, if a potential drug tweaked the silencing process, the researchers could see it quickly.

They found that enoxacin can increase how well a gene is silenced by up to a factor of ten in cultured cells and by a factor of three in mice. It appears to strengthen the grip of part of RISC, a protein called TRBP, upon small pieces of RNA.

The first authors of the paper are Emory postdoctoral fellows Ge Shan and Yujing Li. Contributions also came from colleagues at the University of Chicago, Scripps Research Institute at Florida, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Peking University.

Reference: Shan et al, Nature Biotechnology, Aug 2008 (Vol. 26, No. 8)

Emory University has licensed the technology of RNA interference modulation to Eragene Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now Effigene Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) As an inventor of the technology and a holder of equity in the company, Jin has a financial interest that has been reviewed and approved by Emory University in compliance with its conflict of interest policies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Emory University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Emory University. "Class Of Antibiotics Can Enhance Gene-silencing Tool." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080720150153.htm>.
Emory University. (2008, July 22). Class Of Antibiotics Can Enhance Gene-silencing Tool. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080720150153.htm
Emory University. "Class Of Antibiotics Can Enhance Gene-silencing Tool." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080720150153.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins