RNA interference to target lipid disorders

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review focuses on proof-of-principle experiments providing validation of new targets for the development of RNA interference-based therapeutics for dyslipidemia.

Recent findings

Over the past few years, RNA interference has become an accepted approach to manipulate gene expression in mammalian systems. Advantage has been taken of the relative tissue specificity of adenovirus for liver, and the genetic specificity of short hairpin RNA-mediated RNA interference to create liver-specific downregulation of different genes. A different approach to target liver has been through the administration of chemically modified short interfering RNAs. For example, apolipoprotein B messenger RNA has been silenced in liver and jejunum resulting in decreased plasma levels of apolipoprotein B and total cholesterol.

Summary

RNA interference has aroused great interest as a powerful experimental tool and a potential therapeutic strategy. Successful animal studies indicate that RNA interference might be useful for the treatment of various human diseases. Clinical studies will soon begin to assess the use of this new class of therapeutics to treat dyslipidemia.

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