Shu, Y, Cinier, M, Shu, D and Guo, P. Assembly of multifunctional phi29 pRNA nanoparticles for specific delivery of siRNA and other therapeutics to targeted cells. Methods 54: 204-214

Nanobiomedical Center, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA.
Methods (Impact Factor: 3.65). 02/2011; 54(2):204-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2011.01.008
Source: PubMed


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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    • "In the past decade, efforts to develop RNA-based therapeutic technologies have significantly intensified.1,2,3,4,5 Triggering RNA interference (RNAi), in particular, has become one of the most widely used techniques for biomedical applications.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 RNAi uses a mechanism of posttranscriptional sequence specific gene silencing by processing double-stranded RNAs into small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) used as part of the RNA-induced silencing complex to selectively cleave target mRNA.14 "
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    ABSTRACT: Specific small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) designed to silence different oncogenic pathways can be used for cancer therapy. However, non-modified naked siRNAs have short half-lives in blood serum and encounter difficulties in crossing biological membranes due to their negative charge. These obstacles can be overcome by using siRNAs complexed with bolaamphiphiles, consisting of two positively charged head groups that flank an internal hydrophobic chain. Bolaamphiphiles have relatively low toxicities, long persistence in the blood stream, and most importantly, in aqueous conditions can form poly-cationic micelles thus, becoming amenable to association with siRNAs. Herein, two different bolaamphiphiles with acetylcholine head groups attached to an alkyl chain in two distinct configurations are compared for their abilities to complex with siRNAs and deliver them into cells inducing gene silencing. Our explicit solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations showed that bolaamphiphiles associate with siRNAs due to electrostatic, hydrogen bonding, and hydrophobic interactions. These in silico studies are supported by various in vitro and in cell culture experimental techniques as well as by some in vivo studies. Results demonstrate that depending on the application, the extent of siRNA chemical protection, delivery efficiency, and further intracellular release can be varied by simply changing the type of bolaamphiphile used.Molecular Therapy-Nucleic Acids (2013) 2, e80; doi:10.1038/mtna.2013.5; published online 19 March 2013.
    Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids 03/2013; 2(3):e80. DOI:10.1038/mtna.2013.5 · 4.51 Impact Factor
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    • "Therapeutic potential of aptamers into a stable and unique secondary structure that serve as the building blocks to form various nanostructures (e.g., dimer, timer, hexamer, and larger arrays) in size from nanometers to micrometers through interlocking right-and left-hand loops (Guo, 2010; Shu et al., 2011). When its 5 /3 helical domains of pRNA are substituted with an aptamer, siRNA, or other therapeutic molecules , the formation of pRNA-based nanostructure and their therapeutic functions is not interfered. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aptamers are single-stranded nucleic acids that specifically recognize and bind tightly to their cognate targets due to their stable three-dimensional structure. Nucleic acid aptamers have been developed for various applications, including diagnostics, molecular imaging, biomarker discovery, target validation, therapeutics, and drug delivery. Due to their high specificity and binding affinity, aptamers directly block or interrupt the functions of target proteins making them promising therapeutic agents for the treatment of human maladies. Additionally, aptamers that bind to cell surface proteins are well suited for the targeted delivery of other therapeutics, such as conjugated small interfering RNAs (siRNA) that induce RNA interference (RNAi). Thus, aptamer-siRNA chimeras may offer dual-functions, in which the aptamer inhibits a receptor function, while the siRNA internalizes into the cell to target a specific mRNA. This review focuses on the current progress and therapeutic potential of RNA aptamers, including the use of cell-internalizing aptamers as cell-type specific delivery vehicles for targeted RNAi. In particular, we discuss emerging aptamer-based therapeutics that provide unique clinical opportunities for the treatment various cancers and neurological diseases.
    Frontiers in Genetics 11/2012; 3:234. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2012.00234
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    • "Currently, there are various systems of RNAi, including chemically synthesized siRNA, viral vector-mediated RNAi, pRNA (packaging RNA)/siRNA and plasmid-based expression system [14], [25], [26], [27], [28]. It has been shown that the mRNA silencing effects with plasmid-based RNAi last longer and are more stable and economical [25]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a worldwide liver disease and nearly 25% of chronic HBV infections terminate in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Currently, there is no effective therapy to inhibit HBV replication and to eliminate hepatoma cells, making it highly desired to develop novel therapies for these two stages of the HBV-caused detrimental disease. Recently, short hairpin RNA (shRNA) has emerged as a potential therapy for virus-infected disease and cancer. Here, we have generated a shRNA, pGenesil-siHBV4, which effectively inhibits HBV replication in the human hepatoma cell line HepG2.2.15. The inhibitory effects of pGenesil-siHBV4 are manifested by the decrease of both the HBV mRNA level and the protein levels of the secreted HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) and HBV e antigen (HBeAg), and by the reduction of secreted HBV DNA. Using mouse hydrodynamic tail vein injection, we demonstrate that pGenesil-siHBV4 is effective in inhibiting HBV replication in vivo. Because survivin plays a key role in cancer cell escape from apoptosis, we further generated pGenesil-siSurvivin, a survivin-silencing shRNA, and showed its effect of triggering apoptosis of HBV-containing hepatoma cells. To develop targeted shRNA therapy, we have identified that as a specific binder of the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR), jetPEI-Hepatocyte delivers pGenesil-siHBV4 and pGenesil-siSurvivin specifically to hepatocytes, not other types of cells. Finally, co-transfection of pGenesil-siHBV4 and pGenesil-siSurvivin exerts synergistic effects in inducing hepatoma cell apoptosis, a novel approach to eliminate hepatoma by downregulating survivin via multiple mechanisms. The application of these novel shRNAs with the jetPEI-Hepatocyte targeting strategy demonstrates the proof-of-principle for a promising approach to inhibit HBV replication and eliminate hepatoma cells with high specificity.
    PLoS ONE 10/2012; 7(10):e46096. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0046096 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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