Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Slow channel congenital myasthenic syndrome (SCCMS) is a disorder of the neuromuscular synapse caused by dominantly inherited missense mutations in genes that encode the muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR) subunits. Here we investigate the potential of post-transcriptional gene silencing using RNA interference (RNAi) for the selective down-regulation of pathogenic mutant AChR. By transfection of both siRNA and shRNA into mammalian cells expressing wild-type or mutant AChR subunits, we show, using 125I-alpha-bungarotoxin binding and immunofluorescence to measure cell surface AChR expression, efficient discrimination between the silencing of alphaS226F AChR mutant RNA transcripts and the wild-type. In this model we find that selectivity between mutant and wild-type transcripts is optimized with the nucleotide mismatch at position 9 in the shRNA complementary sequence. We also find that allele-specific silencing using shRNA has comparable efficiency to that using siRNA, underlining the general potential of stable expression of shRNA molecules as a long term therapeutic approach for allele-specific silencing of mutant transcripts in dominant genetic disorders.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Mol Genet

Publication Date





2637 - 2644


Alleles, Animals, Base Pair Mismatch, Base Sequence, Cell Line, DNA, Down-Regulation, Gene Silencing, Humans, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutation, Oligonucleotides, Promoter Regions, Genetic, RNA, RNA Interference, RNA, Small Interfering, Receptors, Cholinergic, Synapses, Transcription, Genetic, Transfection