In this study, we formulate a computational reaction model following a chemical kinetic theory approach to predict the binding rate constant for the siRNA-RISC complex formation reaction. The model allowed us to study the potency difference between 2-nt 3' overhangs against blunt-ended siRNA molecules in an RNA interference (RNAi) system. The rate constant predicted by this model was fed into a stochastic simulation of the RNAi system (using the Gillespie stochastic simulator) to study the overall potency effect. We observed that the stochasticity in the transcription/translation machinery has no observable effects in the RNAi pathway. Sustained gene silencing using siRNAs can be achieved only if there is a way to replenish the dsRNA molecules in the cell. Initial findings show about 1.5 times more blunt-ended molecules will be required to keep the mRNA at the same reduced level compared to the 2-nt overhang siRNAs. However, the mRNA levels jump back to saturation after a longer time when blunt-ended siRNAs are used. We found that the siRNA-RISC complex formation reaction rate was 2 times slower when blunt-ended molecules were used pointing to the fact that the presence of the 2-nt overhangs has a greater effect on the reaction in which the bound RISC complex cleaves the mRNA.
Fischer, J. E.,
Turi, T. G.,
Sarver, R. W.,
Das, S. K.
(2009). Comparing 2-nt 3 ' Overhangs Against Blunt-Ended siRNAs: A Systems Biology Based Study. BMC Genomics, 10.
Available at: http://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/1293