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      Efficient delivery of RNAi prodrugs containing reversible charge-neutralizing phosphotriester backbone modifications

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          Abstract

          RNA interference (RNAi) has great potential to treat human disease. However, in vivo delivery of short interfering RNAs (siRNAs), which are negatively charged double-stranded RNA macromolecules, remains a major hurdle. Current siRNA delivery has begun to move away from large lipid and synthetic nanoparticles to more defined molecular conjugates. Here we address this issue by synthesis of short interfering ribonucleic neutrals (siRNNs) whose phosphate backbone contains neutral phosphotriester groups, allowing for delivery into cells. Once inside cells, siRNNs are converted by cytoplasmic thioesterases into native, charged phosphodiester-backbone siRNAs, which induce robust RNAi responses. siRNNs have favorable drug-like properties, including high synthetic yields, serum stability and absence of innate immune responses. Unlike siRNAs, siRNNs avidly bind serum albumin to positively influence pharmacokinetic properties. Systemic delivery of siRNNs conjugated to a hepatocyte-specific targeting domain induced extended dose-dependent in vivo RNAi responses in mice. We believe that siRNNs represent a technology that will open new avenues for development of RNAi therapeutics.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Origins and Mechanisms of miRNAs and siRNAs.

          Over the last decade, approximately 20-30 nucleotide RNA molecules have emerged as critical regulators in the expression and function of eukaryotic genomes. Two primary categories of these small RNAs--short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs)--act in both somatic and germline lineages in a broad range of eukaryotic species to regulate endogenous genes and to defend the genome from invasive nucleic acids. Recent advances have revealed unexpected diversity in their biogenesis pathways and the regulatory mechanisms that they access. Our understanding of siRNA- and miRNA-based regulation has direct implications for fundamental biology as well as disease etiology and treatment.
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            Experimental and computational approaches to estimate solubility and permeability in drug discovery and development settings1PII of original article: S0169-409X(96)00423-1. The article was originally published in Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 23 (1997) 3–25.1

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              The promises and pitfalls of RNA-interference-based therapeutics.

              The discovery that gene expression can be controlled by the Watson-Crick base-pairing of small RNAs with messenger RNAs containing complementary sequence - a process known as RNA interference - has markedly advanced our understanding of eukaryotic gene regulation and function. The ability of short RNA sequences to modulate gene expression has provided a powerful tool with which to study gene function and is set to revolutionize the treatment of disease. Remarkably, despite being just one decade from its discovery, the phenomenon is already being used therapeutically in human clinical trials, and biotechnology companies that focus on RNA-interference-based therapeutics are already publicly traded.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Biotechnology
                Nat Biotechnol
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1087-0156
                1546-1696
                December 2014
                November 17 2014
                December 2014
                : 32
                : 12
                : 1256-1261
                Article
                10.1038/nbt.3078
                4378643
                25402614
                © 2014

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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