Inducible anti-sense RNA for angiotensinogen in stably transformed hepatoma cell lines

in Journal of Molecular Endocrinology


Angiotensinogen mRNA is found in many extrahepatic tissues, where it may participate in local angiotensin-generating systems. In this study we explore the feasibility of using anti-sense RNA to decrease angiotensinogen production in rat H4IIEC3 hepatoma cells. An amplifiable shuttle vector was modified to allow the production of high levels of stable anti-sense RNA from two regions of the mouse angiotensinogen gene under the control of the inducible sheep metallothionein promoter. Stably transformed, clonal cell lines expressing anti-sense RNA for angiotensinogen were isolated after selection with the aminoglycoside G418. Subsequently, the number of chromosomally integrated copies of the angiotensinogen anti-sense constructs was coamplified by methotrexate selection for dihydrofolate reductase activity carried on the shuttle vector. With a 20- to 30-fold induction of the anti-sense RNAs, the target angiotensinogen mRNA level was reduced to 25–30% of control values. The specificity of this effect was confirmed by showing no decrease in either β-tubulin or neomycin phosphotransferase mRNA levels. Using tissue-specific promoters, it should be possible to direct these effects to specific organs in transgenic mice. However, in agreement with results from other groups, our findings suggest that it will not be possible to eradicate completely the target gene product using the anti-sense RNA strategy.


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