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FEBS Lett. 2010 Feb 5;584(3):591-8. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2009.12.007. Epub 2010 Jan 13.

Application of small interfering RNAs modified by unlocked nucleic acid (UNA) to inhibit the heart-pathogenic coxsackievirus B3.

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Institute for Virology, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Charité-University Medicine, Berlin, Germany.


This study describes the first application of unlocked nucleic acid (UNA)-modified small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) directed against a medically relevant target, the coxsackievirus B3. We systematically analyzed the impact of different siRNA modification patterns and observed good compatibility of the introduction of UNA with the maintenance of high antiviral activity. Additionally, the polarity of an siRNA was successfully reversed by modulating the relative stability of the termini with locked nucleic acid (LNA) and UNA as shown in a reporter assay. The potency of the reversed siRNA against the full-length target was, however, too low to inhibit the infectious virus. Altogether, combined modification of siRNAs with LNA und UNA provides a promising approach to alter and improve properties of an siRNA.

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