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Acc Chem Res. 2012 Jul 17;45(7):1014-25. doi: 10.1021/ar2002254. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Small-interfering RNA (siRNA)-based functional micro- and nanostructures for efficient and selective gene silencing.

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1
Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

Because of RNA's ability to encode structure and functional information, researchers have fabricated diverse geometric structures from this polymer at the micro- and nanoscale. With their tunable structures, rigidity, and biocompatibility, novel two-dimensional and three-dimensional RNA structures can serve as a fundamental platform for biomedical applications, including engineered tissues, biosensors, and drug delivery vehicles. The discovery of the potential of small-interfering RNA (siRNA) has underscored the applications of RNA-based micro- and nanostructures in medicine. Small-interfering RNA (siRNA), synthetic double-stranded RNA consisting of approximately 21 base pairs, suppresses problematic target genes in a sequence-specific manner via inherent RNA interference (RNAi) processing. As a result, siRNA offers a potential strategy for treatment of many human diseases. However, due to inefficient delivery to cells and off-target effects, the clinical application of therapeutic siRNA has been very challenging. To address these issues, researchers have studied a variety of nanocarrier systems for siRNA delivery. In this Account, we describe several strategies for efficient siRNA delivery and selective gene silencing. We took advantage of facile chemical conjugation and complementary hybridization to design novel siRNA-based micro- and nanostructures. Using chemical crosslinkers and hydrophobic/hydrophilic polymers at the end of siRNA, we produced various RNA-based structures, including siRNA block copolymers, micelles, linear siRNA homopolymers, and microhydrogels. Because of their increased charge density and flexibility compared with conventional siRNA, these micro- and nanostructures can form polyelectrolyte complexes with poorly charged and biocompatible cationic carriers that are both more condensed and more homogenous than the complexes formed in other carrier systems. In addition, the fabricated siRNA-based structures are linked by cleavable disulfide bonds for facile generation of original siRNA in the cytosol and for target-specific gene silencing. These newly developed siRNA-based structures greatly enhance intracellular uptake and gene silencing both in vitro and in vivo, making them promising biomaterials for siRNA therapeutics.

PMID:
22413937
DOI:
10.1021/ar2002254
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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