Inhibition of West Nile Virus replication by retrovirus-delivered small interfering RNA in human neuroblastoma cells

J Med Virol. 2008 May;80(5):930-6. doi: 10.1002/jmv.21164.


West Nile virus (WNV) has been responsible for the largest outbreaks of arboviral encephalitis in U.S. history. No specific drug is currently available for the effective treatment of WNV infection. To exploit RNA interference as a potential therapeutic approach, a Moloney murine leukemia virus-based retrovirus vector was used to effectively deliver WNV-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) into human neuroblastoma HTB-11 cells. Viral plaque assays demonstrated that transduced cells were significantly refractory to WNV replication, as compared to untransduced control cells (P < 0.05), which correlated with the reduced expression of target viral genes and respective viral proteins. Therefore, retrovirus-mediated delivery of siRNA for gene silencing can be used to study the specific functions of viral genes associated with replication and may have potential therapeutic applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Moloney murine leukemia virus / genetics*
  • Neurons / virology*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / pharmacology*
  • Transduction, Genetic
  • Viral Plaque Assay
  • West Nile virus / drug effects
  • West Nile virus / growth & development*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • RNA, Small Interfering