Aptamer-mediated selective delivery of short RNA therapeutics in cancer cells

OpenAccess

 

Mini-Review

J RNAi Gene Silencing (2014), 10, 500-506

doi: jrgsxx

Published online: 01 October 2014

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Aptamer-mediated selective delivery of short RNA therapeutics in cancer cells

Carla Lucia Esposito, Silvia Catuogno and Vittorio de Franciscis*

Istituto di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale, CNR, Naples, Italy

*Correspondence toVittorio de Franciscis, Email: defranci@unina.it, Tel: +39 0813722343

Received: 05 September 2014, Accepted: 24 September 2014

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ABSTRACT

RNA interference (RNAi) is an important biological process that ultimately leads to suppress gene expression. Activators of RNAi are typically small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) that offer a great potential for cancer gene therapy. However, a major obstacle to translate these molecules to the clinic is the absence of a safe and reliable mean for their specific delivery to target cells. In this regard, a highly promising class of molecules is represented by nucleic acid aptamers. These are short, structured, single-stranded RNAs or DNAs that, by binding with high specificity to target molecules, provide high affinity ligands and potential antagonists of disease-associated proteins. Further, because of the high binding specificity, aptamers represent a powerful tool for the selective delivery of therapeutic cargos, including mi/siRNAs, chemotherapeutics, toxins and nanoparticles to cancer cells or tissues, thus increasing the efficacy of a given therapy as well as attenuating the overall toxicity. In this review, we will focus on the recent advances in the field of aptamer-mediated mi/siRNA delivery, discussing their potential and challenges in cancer therapy.

KEYWORDS: microRNA, siRNA, aptamer, targeted delivery, cancer

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