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Nucleic Acid Ther. 2013 Oct;23(5):302-10. doi: 10.1089/nat.2013.0436. Epub 2013 Aug 16.

Hepatotoxic potential of therapeutic oligonucleotides can be predicted from their sequence and modification pattern.

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1
Department of Informatics, Santaris Pharma A/S, Hørsholm, Denmark.

Abstract

Antisense oligonucleotides that recruit RNase H and thereby cleave complementary messenger RNAs are being developed as therapeutics. Dose-dependent hepatic changes associated with hepatocyte necrosis and increases in serum alanine-aminotransferase levels have been observed after treatment with certain oligonucleotides. Although general mechanisms for drug-induced hepatic injury are known, the characteristics of oligonucleotides that determine their hepatotoxic potential are not well understood. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of the hepatotoxic potential of locked nucleic acid-modified oligonucleotides in mice. We developed a random forests classifier, in which oligonucleotides are regarded as being composed of dinucleotide units, which distinguished between 206 oligonucleotides with high and low hepatotoxic potential with 80% accuracy as estimated by out-of-bag validation. In a validation set, 17 out of 23 oligonucleotides were correctly predicted (74% accuracy). In isolation, some dinucleotide units increase, and others decrease, the hepatotoxic potential of the oligonucleotides within which they are found. However, a complex interplay between all parts of an oligonucleotide can influence the hepatotoxic potential. Using the classifier, we demonstrate how an oligonucleotide with otherwise high hepatotoxic potential can be efficiently redesigned to abate hepatotoxic potential. These insights establish analysis of sequence and modification patterns as a powerful tool in the preclinical discovery process for oligonucleotide-based medicines.

PMID:
23952551
PMCID:
PMC3760025
DOI:
10.1089/nat.2013.0436
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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