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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Nature Communications

Volume 8, January 2017, Article number 13964.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13964. Copyright © Meng et al.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) loss-of-function phenotypes are mainly induced by chemically modified antisense oligonucleotides. Here we develop an alternative inhibitor for miRNAs, termed 'small RNA zipper'. It is designed to connect miRNA molecules end to end, forming a DNA-RNA duplex through a complementary interaction with high affinity, high specificity and high stability. Two miRNAs, miR-221 and miR-17, are tested in human breast cancer cell lines, demonstrating the 70∼90% knockdown of miRNA levels by 30-50 nM small RNA zippers. The miR-221 zipper shows capability in rescuing the expression of target genes of miR-221 and reversing the oncogenic function of miR-221 in breast cancer cells. In addition, we demonstrate that the miR-221 zipper attenuates doxorubicin resistance with higher efficiency than anti-miR-221 in human breast cancer cells. Taken together, small RNA zippers are a miRNA inhibitor, which can be used to induce miRNA loss-of-function phenotypes and validate miRNA target genes.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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