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A New Inducible RNAi Model for Cancer Target Validation In Vivo


Human xenograft tumor models are widely used for evaluation of potential cancer targets, by assessing the anti-tumor effects of specific agents, such as siRNA. siRNA is usually stably introduced into tumor cells prior to transplantation. However, oncogene silencing results in reduced cell growth/survival in vitro and/or failure to establish tumors in vivo, thus hindering tumor response-based efficacy evaluation that is more clinically relevant. We therefore explored a new tumor response model based on regulated RNAi.


A unique RNAi vector was generated to express shRNA only after induction with doxycylcine. Using this vector, we created a novel xenograft tumor model, in which tumors are established under non-induced conditions, followed by induced target inactivation upon oral dosing of the inducer. Three genes were evaluated, a known oncogene (mTOR), and two novel cancer targets (HE7 and HE26), by assessing the tumor response to their silencing.


We demonstrate a significant response of staged tumor regression to silencing of all three target genes. For early staged tumors, inactivation of each of the three targets caused dramatic tumor regression (100% regressed and 50% became tumor-free for both mTOR and HE7, and 100% for HE26). Advanced staged tumors also demonstrated significant responses (100% regression for mTOR, and 75% for HE7, 85% HE26).


Our results demonstrate the utility of this unique and powerful model for efficacy evaluation of cancer targets; our data also provide robust in vivo efficacy validations of HE7 and HE26 as novel cancer therapeutic targets.

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Correspondence to F Wong-Staal.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Li, Q., Ke, N., Zhou, D. et al. A New Inducible RNAi Model for Cancer Target Validation In Vivo. Retrovirology 2 (Suppl 1), S52 (2005).

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