IDT Secures Funding for new Gene Silencing Research
News Sep 07, 2009
Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) has been awarded $99,750 from the National Institutes of Health ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funding to continue work on its research project ‘Gene Silencing with U1 Adapter Oligonucleotides.’
As a new class of synthetic nucleic acids, the U1 adapters are capable of down-regulating the expression of genes of interest at the pre-mRNA stage, via a mechanism of action distinct from antisense or siRNA. This new technology is based on oligos annealing to a specific region within the 3’-terminal exon of a gene to inhibit pre-mRNA processing and subsequent gene expression and can successfully silence even RNAi refractory genes.
The novel mechanism utilized by the U1 adapters enable it to be used additively with existing gene technologies, or individually to target genes that have not responded well to RNAi-based techniques. This new technology will make a significant addition to the gene silencing tool kit available to researchers.
The work will be performed in collaboration with Drs. Sam Gunderson and Rafal Goraczniak at SilaGene (Hillsborough, NJ), a newly formed biotechnology company working on U1 Adaptor therapeutics. The U1 Adaptor Technology was recently described in a paper published in Nature Biotechnology.
With extensive knowledge in all areas of gene silencing, IDT also provides researchers with its Screening Dicer-substrate siRNA (DsiRNA) duplex product, which is ideal for small scale in vitro applications.
Furthermore, the novel peptide-based double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) transduction delivery system Transductin™ complexes with DsiRNAs, and delivers them across cell membranes via macropinocytosis. This mechanism minimizes the risk of triggering an innate immune response and has far less toxicity than cationic lipid mediated transfection.