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Nucleic acid binding and other biomedical properties of artificial oligolysines

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      Abstract

      In the present study, we report the interaction of an artificial oligolysine (referred to as AOL) realized in our laboratory with targets of biomedical importance. These included polyinosinic acid (poly rI) and its complex with polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), RNAs with well-known interferon-inducing ability, and double-stranded (ds) DNA. The ability of the peptide to bind both single-stranded poly rI and ds poly I:C RNAs emerged from our circular dichroism (CD) and ultraviolet (UV) studies. In addition, we found that AOL forms complexes with dsDNA, as shown by spectroscopic binding assays and UV thermal denaturation experiments. These findings are encouraging for the possible use of AOL in biomedicine for nucleic acid targeting and oligonucleotide condensation, with the latter being a key step preceding their clinical application. Moreover, we tested the ability of AOL to bind to proteins, using serum albumin as a model protein. We demonstrated the oligolysine–protein binding by CD experiments which suggested that AOL, positively charged under physiological conditions, binds to the protein regions rich in anionic residues. Finally, the morphology characterization of the solid oligolysine, performed by scanning electron microscopy, showed different crystal forms including cubic-shaped crystals confirming the high purity of AOL.

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      Particulate formulations for the delivery of poly(I:C) as vaccine adjuvant.

      Current research and development of antigens for vaccination often center on purified recombinant proteins, viral subunits, synthetic oligopeptides or oligosaccharides, most of them suffering from being poorly immunogenic and subject to degradation. Hence, they call for efficient delivery systems and potent immunostimulants, jointly denoted as adjuvants. Particulate delivery systems like emulsions, liposomes, nanoparticles and microspheres may provide protection from degradation and facilitate the co-formulation of both the antigen and the immunostimulant. Synthetic double-stranded (ds) RNA, such as polyriboinosinic acid-polyribocytidylic acid, poly(I:C), is a mimic of viral dsRNA and, as such, a promising immunostimulant candidate for vaccines directed against intracellular pathogens. Poly(I:C) signaling is primarily dependent on Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), and on melanoma differentiation-associated gene-5 (MDA-5), and strongly drives cell-mediated immunity and a potent type I interferon response. However, stability and toxicity issues so far prevented the clinical application of dsRNAs as they undergo rapid enzymatic degradation and bear the potential to trigger undue immune stimulation as well as autoimmune disorders. This review addresses these concerns and suggests strategies to improve the safety and efficacy of immunostimulatory dsRNA formulations. The focus is on technological means required to lower the necessary dosage of poly(I:C), to target surface-modified microspheres passively or actively to antigen-presenting cells (APCs), to control their interaction with non-professional phagocytes and to modulate the resulting cytokine secretion profile. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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        Inhibitors of the apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1)/nucleophosmin (NPM1) interaction that display anti-tumor properties.

        The apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) is a protein central to the base excision DNA repair pathway and operates in the modulation of gene expression through redox-dependent and independent mechanisms. Aberrant expression and localization of APE1 in tumors are recurrent hallmarks of aggressiveness and resistance to therapy. We identified and characterized the molecular association between APE1 and nucleophosmin (NPM1), a multifunctional protein involved in the preservation of genome stability and rRNA maturation. This protein-protein interaction modulates subcellular localization and endonuclease activity of APE1. Moreover, we reported a correlation between APE1 and NPM1 expression levels in ovarian cancer, with NPM1 overexpression being a marker of poor prognosis. These observations suggest that tumors that display an augmented APE1/NPM1 association may exhibit increased aggressiveness and resistance. Therefore, targeting the APE1/NPM1 interaction might represent an innovative strategy for the development of anticancer drugs, as tumor cells relying on higher levels of APE1 and NPM1 for proliferation and survival may be more sensitive than untransformed cells. We set up a chemiluminescence-based high-throughput screening assay in order to find small molecules able to interfere with the APE1/NPM1 interaction. This screening led to the identification of a set of bioactive compounds that impair the APE1/NPM1 association in living cells. Interestingly, some of these molecules display anti-proliferative activity and sensitize cells to therapeutically relevant genotoxins. Given the prognostic significance of APE1 and NPM1, these compounds might prove effective in the treatment of tumors that show abundant levels of both proteins, such as ovarian or hepatic carcinomas.
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          Polyinosinic acid is a ligand for toll-like receptor 3.

          Innate immune responses are critical in controlling viral infections. Viral proteins and nucleic acids have been shown to be recognized by pattern recognition receptors of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) family, triggering downstream signaling cascades that lead to cellular activation and cytokine production. Viral DNA is sensed by TLR9, and TLRs 3, 7, and 8 have been implicated in innate responses to RNA viruses by virtue of their ability to sense double-stranded (ds) RNA (TLR3) or single-stranded RNA (murine TLR7 and human TLR8). Viral and synthetic dsRNAs have also been shown to be a potent adjuvant, promoting enhanced adaptive immune responses, and this property is also dependent on their recognition by TLR3. It has recently been shown that mRNA that is largely single-stranded is a ligand for TLR3. Here we have investigated the ability of single-stranded homopolymeric nucleic acids to induce innate responses by murine immune cells. We show for the first time that polyinosinic acid (poly(I)) activates B lymphocytes, dendritic cells, and macrophages and that these responses are dependent on the expression of both TLR3 and the adaptor molecule, Toll/IL-1 receptor domain-containing adaptor inducing IFN-beta (TRIF). We therefore conclude that TLR3 is able to sense both single-stranded RNA and dsRNA.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]CNR Istituto di Biostrutture e Bioimmagini, Via Mezzocannone site and Headquarters
            [2 ]Centro Regionale di Competenza (CRdC) Tecnologie, Via Nuova Agnano, Napoli, Italy
            Author notes
            Correspondence: Giovanni N Roviello, CNR Istituto di Biostrutture e Bioimmagini, Via Mezzocannone 16, 80134 Napoli, Italy, Tel +39 81 253 4585, Fax +39 81 253 4574, Email giroviel@ 123456unina.it
            Journal
            Int J Nanomedicine
            Int J Nanomedicine
            International Journal of Nanomedicine
            International Journal of Nanomedicine
            Dove Medical Press
            1176-9114
            1178-2013
            2016
            10 November 2016
            : 11
            : 5897-5904
            5108602 10.2147/IJN.S121247 ijn-11-5897
            © 2016 Roviello et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

            The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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