Interfering RNAs (RNAi) are meant to match the sequence of the messenger RNAs made from genes, and then to block or inactivate the mRNA, keeping it from being translated into a harmful protein. One of the main hurdles has been delivering the agents specifically to the cells in which they are needed. An article in this Tuesday’s New York Times drew attention to this problem when reporting that many pharmaceutical companies have suspended their research into RNA interference. But what if you could use a common bacteria to deliver the payload? In work reported in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, researchers led by Fenyong Liu at UC Berkeley made a modified strain of Salmonella to deliver interfering RNA exactly where it was needed. The result: they inhibited cytomegaloviral infection in mice.
ArsTechnica: Meet the newest virus fighter: Salmonella