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Nucleic Acid Ther. 2012 Apr;22(2):117-26. doi: 10.1089/nat.2011.0294. Epub 2012 Mar 19.

Absence of unspecific innate immune cell activation by GATA-3-specific DNAzymes.

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Sterna Biologicals GmbH & Co. KG, Marburg, Germany.


DNAzymes of the 10-23 family represent an important class of antisense molecules with implications for therapeutic treatment of diseases. These molecules are single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides combining the high specificity of oligonucleotide base pairing with an inherent RNA-cleaving enzymatic activity. However, like other oligonucleotide-based molecules these substances might exert so-called off-target effects, which have not been investigated so far for this molecule class. Therefore, the present study investigates putative off-target effects of DNAzymes on innate immune mechanisms using GATA-3-specific DNAzymes that have recently been developed as novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of allergic diseases including allergic asthma. The conserved catalytic domain of 10-23 DNAzymes contains a CpG motif that may stimulate innate immune cells via Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR-9). Therefore, potential TLR-9-mediated as well as TLR-9 independent cell activation was investigated using TLR-9-transfected HEK293 cells, macrophage cell lines and primary innate immune cells. Furthermore, putative effects of GATA-3-specific DNAzymes on the activation of neutrophil granulocytes and degranulation of mast cells/basophils were analyzed. In summary, no innate immune cell-stimulating activities of the tested DNAzymes were observed in any of the systems. Consequently, use of GATA-3-specific DNAzymes may represent a novel and highly specific approach for the treatment of allergic diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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