PloS one

In vivo inhibition of influenza A virus replication by RNA interference targeting the PB2 subunit via intratracheal delivery.

PMID 28380007


Influenza virus infection is a major threat to human health. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) is a promising approach for the prevention and treatment of viral infections. In this study, we constructed a series of DNA vector-based short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) that target various genes of the influenza A virus using the polymerase III U6-RNA promoter to prevent influenza virus infection in vitro and in a mouse model. Three sets of DNA vector-based shRNA, two targeting genes encoding the polymerase acidic protein (PA) and one targeting polymerase basic protein 2 (PB2), efficiently inhibited the replication of influenza virus A/WSN/33(H1N1) in vitro. We also successfully prevented influenza virus A/WSN/33(H1N1) infection in a C57BL/6 mouse model by intratracheal delivery of anti-PB2 shRNA. Our findings suggest that the PB2-targeting shRNA plasmid showed potential for use as an RNAi-based therapeutic for influenza virus infection.