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Oligonucleotides. 2004;14(2):100-13.

Use of siRNAs and antisense oligonucleotides against survivin RNA to inhibit steps leading to tumor angiogenesis.

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Department of Biochemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


The antiapoptotic protein survivin is an attractive target in cancer therapy because it is expressed differently in tumors and normal tissues and it is potentially required for cancer cells to remain viable. Given that survivin is also overexpressed in endothelial cells (ECs) of newly formed blood vessels found in tumors, its RNA targeting might compromise EC viability and interfere with tumor angiogenesis. We used two antisense strategies against survivin expression, antisense oligonucleotides (aODN) and small interfering RNA (siRNA), to study in ECs the contribution of survivin in various steps leading to tumor angiogenesis. A 21-mer phosphorothioate aODN and two siRNA oligonucleotides against survivin mRNA were designed to downregulate survivin expression. Survivin targeting caused (1) a strong growth-inhibitory effect, (2) a 4-fold increase in apoptosis, (3) an accumulation of cells in the S phase and a decrease in G2/M phase, (4) a dose-dependent inhibition of EC migration on Vitronectin, and (5) a decrease in capillary formation. Control oligonucleotides, an unrelated oligonucleotide, and one with four mismatches, had no significant effect. All these results show that survivin is a suitable target in cancer therapy because its inhibition in EC causes both a proapoptotic effect and an interruption of tumor angiogenesis. The two strategies used, classic aODN and siRNA technology, were very effective. Moreover, the latter can be used in the low nanomolar range, thus increasing the sensitivity of the treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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