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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Aug 22;134(33):13542-5. doi: 10.1021/ja304649a. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

Single siRNA nanocapsules for enhanced RNAi delivery.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, and California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


Synthetic siRNA has been considered as a highly promising therapeutic agent for human diseases. However, clinical use of siRNA has been hampered by instability in the body and inability to deliver sufficient RNA interference compounds to the tissues or cells. To address this challenge, we present here a single siRNA nanocapsule delivery technology, which is achieved by encapsulating a single siRNA molecule within a degradable polymer nanocapsule with a diameter around 20 nm and positive surface charge. As proof-of-concept, since CCR5 is considered a major silencing target of HIV therapy, CCR5-siRNA nanocapsules were delivered into 293T cells and successfully downregulated the CCR5 RNA fused with mCherry reporter RNA. In the absence of human serum, nanocapsules and lipofectamine silenced expression of CCR5-mCherry expression to 8% and 15%, respectively. Such nanocapsules maintain the integrity of siRNA inside even after incubation with ribonuclease and serum for 1 h; under the same conditions, siRNA is degraded in the native form or when formulated with lipofectamine. In the presence of serum, CCR5-siRNA nanocapsules knocked down CCR5-mCherry expression to less than 15% while siRNAs delivered through lipofectamine slightly knocked down the expression to 55%. In summary, this work provides a novel platform for siRNA delivery that can be developed for therapeutic purposes.

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