Fakultät für Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften

RNA as a drug: feeding of dsRNA across kingdoms

Foreign RNA can be delivered into cells and organisms. Thus, one can use RNAi for exogenous silencing. Increasing data suggests that environmental RNAi, meaning the exchange of regulatory RNA with the environment or other cells and species, is a powerful endogenous mechanism for cells or organisms for a molecular communication. This may apply for epigenetic adaptation processes, for induction of virus resistance or for reciprocal adaptation of host and symbionts.

We study the cellular uptake of dsRNA and ssRNA in SID-negative Paramecium cells where we can easily apply dsRNA producing food bacteria. In addition, we apply dsRNA to shrimp to study dsRNA uptake and systemic distribution of RNAi for endogenous genes and viral genes aiming to improve virus targeting and minimize off target effects.

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