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The specificity of synthetic siRNAs

Jonathan B Weitzman

Genome Biology 2002, 3:spotlight-20021030-01  doi:10.1186/gb-spotlight-20021030-01

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:30 October 2002

© 2002 BioMed Central Ltd

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The remarkable selectivity of siRNAs (short interfering RNAs) offers the attractive possibility of using siRNA as therapeutic agents that specifically target mutated oncogenic isoforms. In the early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Martinez et al. report a proof-of-principle applied to the tumor suppressor protein p53. They designed siRNAs specific for wild-type or cancer-associated mutants of p53 and demonstrated high selectivity. Reduction of mutant protein levels restored wild-type protein to normal levels and wild-type transcriptional activity. This approach might be exploited in a clinical setting by using synthetic siRNAs to target dominant oncogenic mutants or cancer-promoting mutations.


  1. RNA interference is mediated by 21- and 22-nucleotide RNAs.

    PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  2. [] webcite

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

  3. [] webcite

    Synthetic small inhibiting RNAs: Efficient tools to inactivate oncogenic mutations and restore p53 pathways