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Nucleic Acid Ther. 2013 Aug;23(4):289-99. doi: 10.1089/nat.2013.0425. Epub 2013 Jul 13.

A self-assembling short oligonucleotide duplex suitable for pretargeting.

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Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program, Sloan Kettering Institute, New York, New York 10065, USA.


Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have naturally evolved as suitable, high affinity and specificity targeting molecules. However, the large size of full-length mAbs yields poor pharmacokinetic properties. A solution to this issue is the use of a multistep administration approach, in which the slower clearing mAb is administered first and allowed to reach the target site selectively, followed by administration of a rapidly clearing small molecule carrier of the cytotoxic or imaging ligand, which bears a cognate receptor for the mAb. Here, we introduce a novel pretargetable RNA based system comprised of locked nucleic acids (LNA) and 2'O-Methyloligoribonucleotides (2'OMe-RNA). The duplex shows fast hybridization, high melting temperatures, excellent affinity, and high nuclease stability in plasma. Using a prototype model system with rituximab conjugated to 2'OMe-RNA (oligo), we demonstrate that LNA-based complementary strand (c-oligo) effectively hybridizes with rituximab-oligo, which is slowly circulating in vivo, despite the high clearance rates of c-oligo.

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