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J Control Release. 2005 Dec 5;109(1-3):24-36. Epub 2005 Nov 14.

Comparison of novel delivery systems for antisense peptide nucleic acids.

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Institute of Biochemistry Giorgio Fornaini, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy.


Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) provide a powerful tool to study the mechanism of transcription and translation, an innovative strategy to regulate target gene expression. They have been successfully used in antisense technology, for their ability to specifically bind to messenger RNA (mRNA) targets and to inhibit translation of the target genes. However, unlike most of the DNA and RNA oligonucleotides, PNAs are poorly penetrated through the cell membrane, partially due to their uncharged property. To enhance the efficiency in PNA delivery, many strategies have been explored. We here compare the efficacy of three different delivery strategies for antisense PNA: 1) conjugation to hydrophobic peptides, 2) adsorption onto polymeric microspheres and 3) encapsulation in autologous erythrocytes. To this purpose, we designed and prepared PNA sequences able to inhibit the expression of macrophage enzymes involved in inflammatory process, i.e. nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) and tested their antisense activity in a murine macrophage cellular model. Both delivery through polymeric microspheres and encapsulation into erythrocytes allowed the antisense activity of unmodified PNAs at nanomolar concentration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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