Down-regulation of viral replication by lentiviral-mediated expression of short-hairpin RNAs against vesicular stomatitis virus ribonuclear complex genes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) causes great economic impact to livestock industry and is a prototype for studying non-segmented negative-stranded RNA (NSNR) viruses. In this study, we evaluated the antiviral potential of unique short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting genes that form the ribonuclear protein (RNP) complex of VSV serotype Indiana (VSIV). We used lentiviral vectors to construct cell lines that stably expressed one of seven shRNAs targeting the RNP genes of VSIV, namely nucleocapsid (N), phosphoprotein (P), or polymerase (L). We reported two N-shRNA sequences targeting the 5' or 3' end of N that significantly reduced N, P, and L viral transcripts (p<0.001), reduced viral protein expression, and reduced the viral particles shed in Vero cells (p<0.01). When we analyzed the sequence diversity in the target region of this N-shRNA from two field isolates, we detected a single base substitution outside the seed region. We also reported five other shRNA sequences targeting components of the viral RNA that significantly reduce N, P, and L viral transcripts (p<0.001) but failed to efficiently impair viral replication. The differences in the efficiency of the shRNAs tested were not due to mismatches within the target region in the genome of VSIV. Although partial silencing of viral transcripts by single shRNAs impaired but did not block VSIV replication, the combination of the shRNAs identified here into a multiple shRNA vector may result in inhibition of viral replication. These data contribute to ongoing development of RNAi-based technologies to combat viral diseases.

published proceedings

  • Antiviral Res

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Ramirez-Carvajal, L., & Long, C. R.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Ramirez-Carvajal, Lisbeth||Long, Charles R

publication date

  • August 2012