FRET-based probing to gain direct information on siRNA sustainability in live cells: Asymmetric degradation of siRNA strands
Department of Chemistry, Research Institute for Basic Sciences, Research Center for New Nano Bio Fusion Technology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Korea. Molecular BioSystems
(Impact Factor: 3.21).
01/2011; 7(7):2110-3. DOI: 10.1039/c1mb05054k
Investigation of the intracellular fate of small interference RNA (siRNA) following their delivery into cells is of great interest to elucidate dynamics of siRNA in cytoplasm. However, its cellular delivery and sustainability should be understood at the molecular level and improved for the successful in vivo application of siRNA. Here we present a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) based method using oligonucleotide probes to study intracellular dissociation (or melting) and sustainability of siRNAs in live cells. The FRET probes were specifically designed to observe intracellular dissociation (or melting) and degradation of short synthetic RNAs in real-time, thus providing the desired kinetic information in cells. Intracellular FRET analysis shows that siRNA duplex is gradually diffused into cytosol, dissociated, and degraded for a duration of 3.5 h, which is confirmed by confocal microscopy colocalization measurements. In addition, our FRET assays reveal the asymmetric degradation as well as the time-dependent dissociation of each siRNA strand. The application of this FRET technique can allow for direct information on siRNA integrity inside living cells, providing a detection tool for dynamics of biological molecules.
Available from: Mark Helm
- "Numerous reports illustrate that application of FRET to siRNA has a high potential to elucidate details of siRNA traffi cking (Raemdonck et al. , 2006 ; Jarve et al. , 2007 ; Jiang and Zhang , 2010 ; Kim et al. , 2010 ; Lee et al. , 2010 ; Hoerter et al. , 2011 ; Shin et al. , 2011 ). Apart from intrasiRNA FRET, energy transfer between nanocarriers and the siRNA is another elegant means that seems particularly suited to unravel details of release and unloading of the siRNA payload inside the cells (Jiang and Zhang , 2010 ; Lee et al. , 2010 ; Raemdonck et al. , 2010 ). "
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ABSTRACT: Investigations into the fate of small interfering RNA (siRNA) after transfection may unravel new ways to improve RNA interference (RNAi) efficiency. Because intracellular degradation of RNA may prevent reliable observation of fluorescence-labeled siRNA, new tools for fluorescence microscopy are warranted to cover the considerable duration of the RNAi effect. Here, the characterization and application of new fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) dye pairs for sensing the integrity of duplex siRNA is reported, which allows an assessment of the degradation status of an siRNA cell population by live cell imaging. A panel of high-yield fluorescent dyes has been investigated for their suitability as FRET pairs for the investigation of RNA inside the cell. Nine dyes in 13 FRET pairs were evaluated based on the performance in assays of photostability, cross-excitation, bleed-through, as well as on quantified changes of fluorescence as a consequence of, e.g., RNA strand hybridization and pH variation. The Atto488/Atto590 FRET pair has been applied to live cell imaging, and has revealed first aspects of unusual trafficking of intact siRNA. A time-lapse study showed highly dynamic movement of siRNA in large perinuclear structures. These and the resulting optimized FRET labeled siRNA are expected to have significant impact on future observations of labeled RNAs in living cells.
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ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) strategies include double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), small interfering RNA (siRNA), short hairpin RNA (shRNA), and microRNA (miRNA). As this is a highly specific technique, efforts have been made to utilize RNAi towards potential knock down of disease-causing genes in a targeted fashion. RNAi has the potential to selectively inhibit gene expression by degrading or blocking the translation of the target mRNA. However, delivering these RNAs to specific cells presents a significant challenge. Some of these challenges result from the necessity of traversing the circulatory system while avoiding kidney filtration, degradation by endonucleases, aggregation with serum proteins, and uptake by phagocytes. Further, non-specific delivery may result in side-effects, including the activation of immune response. We discuss the challenges in the systemic delivery to target cells, cellular uptake, endosomal release and intracellular transport of RNAi drugs and recent progress in overcoming these barriers. We also discuss approaches that increase the specificity and metabolic stability and reduce the off-target effects of RNAi strategy.
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ABSTRACT: Quantitation of poly(A)-RNA, time-dependent visualization of intracellular poly(A)(+)-RNA localization in living mammalian cells, and time-resolved intracellular binding dynamics of molecular beacons at the single-molecule level using a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based molecular beacon are described. FRET-based molecular beacons were designed as poly(A)-targeting probes to be oligonucleotides that contained Cy5 and Cy3 fluorescent dyes at the strand ends and a poly(A)-targeting sequence inside the strand. Our ratiometric analysis using poly(A)-targeting probes allowed for highly specific and wide-ranging detection (from 1.25nM to 0.5μM) of poly(A)-RNA, as well as for determination of K(d) values, and revealed a distribution of the probe itself and localization of the target RNA sequence in cells. Furthermore, time-dependent FRET-mediated fluorescence changes at the single-molecule level caused by the folding-induced gradual conformation changes in live cells were observed.
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