Suppression of microRNAs by dual-targeting and clustered Tough Decoy inhibitors

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ubiquitous regulators of gene expression that contribute to almost any cellular process. Methods for managing of miRNA activity are attracting increasing attention in relation to diverse experimental and therapeutic applications. DNA-encoded miRNA inhibitors expressed from plasmid or virus-based vectors provide persistent miRNA suppression and options of tissue-directed micromanaging. In this report, we explore the potential of exploiting short, hairpin-shaped RNAs for simultaneous suppression of two or more miRNAs. Based on the "Tough Decoy" (TuD) design, we create dual-targeting hairpins carrying two miRNA recognition sites and demonstrate potent co-suppression of different pairs of unrelated miRNAs by a single DNA-encoded inhibitor RNA. In addition, enhanced miRNA suppression is achieved by expression of RNA polymerase II-transcribed inhibitors carrying clustered TuD hairpins with up to a total of eight miRNA recognition sites. Notably, by expressing clustered TuD inhibitors harboring a single recognition site for each of a total of six miRNAs, we document robust parallel suppression of multiple miRNAs by inhibitor RNA molecules encoded by a single expression cassette. These findings unveil a new potential of TuD-based miRNA inhibitors and pave the way for standardizing synchronized suppression of families or clusters of miRNAs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRNA Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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