Assembly of multifunctional phi29 pRNA nanoparticles for specific delivery of siRNA and other therapeutics to targeted cells

Nanobiomedical Center, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA.
Methods (Impact Factor: 3.22). 02/2011; 54(2):204-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2011.01.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent advances in RNA nanotechnology have led to the emergence of a new field and brought vitality to the area of therapeutics [P. Guo, The emerging field of RNA nanotechnology, Nat. Nanotechnol., 2010]. Due to the complementary nature of the four nucleotides and its special catalytic activity, RNA can be manipulated with simplicity characteristic of DNA, while possessing versatile structure and diverse function similar to proteins. Loops and tertiary architecture serve as mounting dovetails or wedges to eliminate external linking dowels. Unique features in transcription, termination, self-assembly, self-processing, and acid-resistance enable in vivo production of nanoparticles harboring aptamer, siRNA, ribozyme, riboswitch, or other regulators for therapy, detection, regulation, and intracellular computation. The unique property of noncanonical base-pairing and stacking enables RNA to fold into well-defined structures for constructing nanoparticles with special functionalities. Bacteriophage phi29 DNA packaging motor is geared by a ring consisting of six packaging RNA (pRNA) molecules. pRNA is able to form a multimeric complex via the interaction of two reengineered interlocking loops. This unique feature makes it an ideal polyvalent vehicle for nanomachine fabrication, pathogen detection, and delivery of siRNA or other therapeutics. This review describes methods in using pRNA as a building block for the construction of RNA dimers, trimers, and hexamers as nanoparticles in medical applications. Methods for industrial-scale production of large and stable RNA nanoparticles will be introduced. The unique favorable PK (pharmacokinetics) profile with a half life (T(1/2)) of 5-10h comparing to 0.25 of conventional 2'-F siRNA, and advantageous in vivo features such as non-toxicity, non-induction of interferons or non-stimulating of cytokine response in animals will also be reviewed.

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