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Publications (2)7.74 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Chemically synthesized small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) have been widely used to identify gene function and hold great potential in providing a new class of therapeutics. Chemical modifications are desired for therapeutic applications to improve siRNA efficacy. Appropriately protected ribonucleoside-3'-yl S-[β-(benzoylmercapto)ethyl]pyrrolidino-thiophosphoramidite monomers were prepared for the synthesis of siRNA containing phosphorodithioate (PS2) substitutions in which the two non-bridging oxygen atoms are replaced by sulfur atoms. A series of siRNAs containing PS2 substitutions have been strategically designed, synthesized, and evaluated for their gene silencing activities. These PS2-siRNA duplexes exhibit an A-form helical structure similar to unmodified siRNA. The effect of PS2 substitutions on gene silencing activity is position-dependent, with certain PS2-siRNAs showing activity significantly higher than that of unmodified siRNA. The relative gene silencing activities of siRNAs containing either PS2 or phosphoromonothioate (PS) linkages at identical positions are variable and depend on the sites of modification. 5'-Phosphorylation of PS2-siRNAs has little or no effect on gene silencing activity. Incorporation of PS2 substitutions into siRNA duplexes increases their serum stability. These results offer preliminary evidence of the potential value of PS2-modified siRNAs.
    ACS Chemical Biology 04/2012; 7(7):1214-20. · 5.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Therapeutic aptamers are synthetic, structured oligonucleotides that bind to a very broad range of targets with high affinity and specificity. They are an emerging class of targeting ligand that show great promise for treating a number of diseases. A series of aptamers currently in various stages of clinical development highlights the potential of aptamers for therapeutic applications. This review covers in vitro selection of oligonucleotide ligands, called aptamers, from a combinatorial library using the Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment process as well as the other known strategies for finding aptamers against various targets. Readers will gain an understanding of the highly useful strategies for successful aptamer discovery. They may also be able to combine two or more of the presented strategies for their aptamer discovery projects. Although many processes are available for discovering aptamers, it is not easy to discover an aptamer candidate that is ready to move toward pharmaceutical drug development. It is also apparent that there have been relatively few therapeutic advances and clinical trials undertaken due to the small number of companies that participate in aptamer development.
    Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery 01/2011; 6(1):75-87. · 2.30 Impact Factor