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




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

doi: jrgsxx

Published online: 01 October 2014

Full Text: (pdf ~200kb) (PubMed) (XML)

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



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