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Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2014;4(1):31-7. doi: 10.1007/s13346-013-0180-9.

A paradigm shift for extracellular vesicles as small RNA carriers: from cellular waste elimination to therapeutic applications.

Author information

1
Division of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, National Cancer Center Research Institute, 5-1-1, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0045 Japan ; Department of Biological Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama, 226-8501 Japan.
2
Division of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, National Cancer Center Research Institute, 5-1-1, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0045 Japan.

Abstract

RNA interference (RNAi) is an important avenue for target-specific gene silencing that is mainly performed by either small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) or microRNAs (miRNAs). This novel method is rapidly becoming a powerful tool for gene therapy. However, the rapid degradation of siRNAs and miRNAs and the limited duration of their action in vivo call for an efficient delivery technology. Recently, increasing attention has been paid to the use of extracellular vesicles (EVs) as delivery systems. The use of EVs as small RNA carriers has multiple advantages over conventional delivery systems. In this review, we summarize recent findings regarding the potential application of EVs as small RNA delivery systems. Moreover, we focus on some of the obstacles to EV-based therapeutics.

KEYWORDS:

Drug delivery system; Exosome; Extracellular vesicles; RNAi; miRNA; siRNA

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