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      Advances in oligonucleotide drug delivery

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          Abstract

          Oligonucleotides can be used to modulate gene expression via a range of processes including RNAi, target degradation by RNase H-mediated cleavage, splicing modulation, non-coding RNA inhibition, gene activation and programmed gene editing. As such, these molecules have potential therapeutic applications for myriad indications, with several oligonucleotide drugs recently gaining approval. However, despite recent technological advances, achieving efficient oligonucleotide delivery, particularly to extrahepatic tissues, remains a major translational limitation. Here, we provide an overview of oligonucleotide-based drug platforms, focusing on key approaches — including chemical modification, bioconjugation and the use of nanocarriers — which aim to address the delivery challenge.

          Abstract

          Oligonucleotide-based drugs have the potential to treat or manage a wide range of diseases. However, the widespread application of such therapies has been hampered by the difficulty in achieving efficient delivery to extrahepatic tissues. Here, Roberts et al. overview oligonucleotide-based drug platforms and assess approaches being employed to improve their delivery.

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          Most cited references214

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          Argonaute2 is the catalytic engine of mammalian RNAi.

          Gene silencing through RNA interference (RNAi) is carried out by RISC, the RNA-induced silencing complex. RISC contains two signature components, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and Argonaute family proteins. Here, we show that the multiple Argonaute proteins present in mammals are both biologically and biochemically distinct, with a single mammalian family member, Argonaute2, being responsible for messenger RNA cleavage activity. This protein is essential for mouse development, and cells lacking Argonaute2 are unable to mount an experimental response to siRNAs. Mutations within a cryptic ribonuclease H domain within Argonaute2, as identified by comparison with the structure of an archeal Argonaute protein, inactivate RISC. Thus, our evidence supports a model in which Argonaute contributes "Slicer" activity to RISC, providing the catalytic engine for RNAi.
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            Expression profiling reveals off-target gene regulation by RNAi.

            RNA interference is thought to require near-identity between the small interfering RNA (siRNA) and its cognate mRNA. Here, we used gene expression profiling to characterize the specificity of gene silencing by siRNAs in cultured human cells. Transcript profiles revealed siRNA-specific rather than target-specific signatures, including direct silencing of nontargeted genes containing as few as eleven contiguous nucleotides of identity to the siRNA. These results demonstrate that siRNAs may cross-react with targets of limited sequence similarity.
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              A logic-gated nanorobot for targeted transport of molecular payloads.

              We describe an autonomous DNA nanorobot capable of transporting molecular payloads to cells, sensing cell surface inputs for conditional, triggered activation, and reconfiguring its structure for payload delivery. The device can be loaded with a variety of materials in a highly organized fashion and is controlled by an aptamer-encoded logic gate, enabling it to respond to a wide array of cues. We implemented several different logical AND gates and demonstrate their efficacy in selective regulation of nanorobot function. As a proof of principle, nanorobots loaded with combinations of antibody fragments were used in two different types of cell-signaling stimulation in tissue culture. Our prototype could inspire new designs with different selectivities and biologically active payloads for cell-targeting tasks.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                thomas.roberts@paediatrics.ox.ac.uk
                matthew.wood@paediatrics.ox.ac.uk
                Journal
                Nat Rev Drug Discov
                Nat Rev Drug Discov
                Nature Reviews. Drug Discovery
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                1474-1776
                1474-1784
                11 August 2020
                : 1-22
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8948, GRID grid.4991.5, Department of Paediatrics, , University of Oxford, ; Oxford, UK
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8948, GRID grid.4991.5, MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre, , University of Oxford, ; Oxford, UK
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2341 2786, GRID grid.116068.8, Department of Chemical Engineering and Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, , Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ; Cambridge, MA USA
                Article
                75
                10.1038/s41573-020-0075-7
                7419031
                32782413
                1d195bbd-8d38-4027-a2e5-eccc960c67a4
                © Springer Nature Limited 2020

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

                Categories
                Review Article

                drug discovery,antisense oligonucleotide therapy,nucleic-acid therapeutics,drug delivery

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