Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 27;6:30377. doi: 10.1038/srep30377.

Ribonuclease H1-dependent hepatotoxicity caused by locked nucleic acid-modified gapmer antisense oligonucleotides.

Author information

Discovery Research Laboratories for Innovative Frontier Medicines, Shionogi &Co., LTd., Osaka, 561-0825, JAPAN.
Research Laboratory for Development, Shionogi &Co., LTd., Osaka, 561-0825, JAPAN.


Gapmer antisense oligonucleotides cleave target RNA effectively in vivo, and is considered as promising therapeutics. Especially, gapmers modified with locked nucleic acid (LNA) shows potent knockdown activity; however, they also cause hepatotoxic side effects. For developing safe and effective gapmer drugs, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of hepatotoxicity is required. Here, we investigated the cause of hepatotoxicity derived from LNA-modified gapmers. Chemical modification of gapmer's gap region completely suppressed both knockdown activity and hepatotoxicity, indicating that the root cause of hepatotoxicity is related to intracellular gapmer activity. Gene silencing of hepatic ribonuclease H1 (RNaseH1), which catalyses gapmer-mediated RNA knockdown, strongly supressed hepatotoxic effects. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of a target mRNA did not result in any hepatotoxic effects, while the gapmer targeting the same position on mRNA as does the siRNA showed acute toxicity. Microarray analysis revealed that several pre-mRNAs containing a sequence similar to the gapmer target were also knocked down. These results suggest that hepatotoxicity of LNA gapmer is caused by RNAseH1 activity, presumably because of off-target cleavage of RNAs inside nuclei.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center