Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is the most aggressive skin cancer. Recently, it was demonstrated that human Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV) is clonally integrated in 80% of MCC tumors. Genetic studies of MCV have shown that T antigen protein is responsible for replication of genome and play a foremost role in viral infection. Therefore, T antigen protein may be used as suitable target for disease diagnosis. Viral activity can be restrained through RNA interference (RNAi) technology, an influential method for post transcriptional gene silencing in a sequence specific manner. In current study four effective siRNA molecules for silencing of MCV were rationally designed and validated using computational methods, which may lead to knockdown the activity of virus. Thus, this approach may provide an insight for the chemical synthesis of antiviral RNA molecule for the treatment of MCC at genome level.
Keywords: MCC, MCV, T antigen, RNAi, siRNA, Thermodynamics