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Mol Ther. 2012 Aug;20(8):1582-9. doi: 10.1038/mt.2012.33. Epub 2012 Jun 5.

Harnessing a physiologic mechanism for siRNA delivery with mimetic lipoprotein particles.

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  • 1Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


Therapeutics based on RNA interference (RNAi) have emerged as a potential new class of drugs for treating human disease by silencing the target messenger RNA (mRNA), thereby reducing levels of the corresponding pathogenic protein. The major challenge for RNAi therapeutics is the development of safe delivery vehicles for small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). We previously showed that cholesterol-conjugated siRNAs (chol-siRNA) associate with plasma lipoprotein particles and distribute primarily to the liver after systemic administration to mice. We further demonstrated enhancement of silencing by administration of chol-siRNA pre-associated with isolated high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or low-density lipoprotein (LDL). In this study, we investigated mimetic lipoprotein particle prepared from recombinant apolipoprotein A1 (apoA) and apolipoprotein E3 (apoE) as a delivery vehicle for chol-siRNAs. We show that apoE-containing particle (E-lip) is highly effective in functional delivery of chol-siRNA to mouse liver. E-lip delivery was found to be considerably more potent than apoA-containing particle (A-lip). Furthermore, E-lip-mediated delivery was not significantly affected by high endogenous levels of plasma LDL. These results demonstrate that E-lip has substantial potential as delivery vehicles for lipophilic conjugates of siRNAs.

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