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Nucleic Acid Ther. 2012 Oct;22(5):344-59. doi: 10.1089/nat.2012.0366. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Chemical modification study of antisense gapmers.

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Oligonucleotide Therapeutic Unit, Pfizer, Cambridge, MA, USA.


A series of insertion patterns for chemically modified nucleotides [2'-O-methyl (2'-OMe), 2'-fluoro (2'-F), methoxyethyl (MOE), locked nucleic acid (LNA), and G-Clamp] within antisense gapmers is studied in vitro and in vivo in the context of the glucocorticoid receptor. Correlation between lipid transfection and unassisted (gymnotic--using no transfection agent) in vitro assays is seen to be dependent on the chemical modification, with the in vivo results corresponding to the unassisted assay in vitro. While in vitro mRNA knockdown assays are typically reasonable predictors of in vivo results, G-Clamp modified antisense oligonucleotides have poor in vivo mRNA knockdown as compared to transfected cell based assays. For LNA gapmers, knockdown is seen to be highly sensitive to the length of the antisense and number of LNA insertions, with longer 5LNA-10DNA-5LNA compounds giving less activity than 3LNA-10DNA-3LNA derivatives. Additionally, the degree of hepatoxicity for antisense gapmers with identical sequences was seen to vary widely with only subtle changes in the chemical modification pattern. While the optimization of knockdown and hepatic effects remains a sequence specific exercise, general trends emerge around preferred physical properties and modification patterns.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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