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Journal of Nucleic Acids
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 586935, 7 pages
Research Article

Branched RNA: A New Architecture for RNA Interference

1Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC), Networking Centre on Bioengineering, Biomaterials, and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Baldiri Reixac 10, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
2Department of Physiological Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Barcelona (Campus Bellvitge), Feixa Llarga, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08907 Barcelona, Spain

Received 16 October 2010; Accepted 14 January 2011

Academic Editor: Arthur van Aerschot

Copyright © 2011 Anna Aviñó et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Branched RNAs with two and four strands were synthesized. These structures were used to obtain branched siRNA. The branched siRNA duplexes had similar inhibitory capacity as those of unmodified siRNA duplexes, as deduced from gene silencing experiments of the TNF-α protein. Branched RNAs are considered novel structures for siRNA technology, and they provide an innovative tool for specific gene inhibition. As the method described here is compatible with most RNA modifications described to date, these compounds may be further functionalized to obtain more potent siRNA derivatives and can be attached to suitable delivery systems.