Engineering Nucleic Acids for Drug Delivery
RNA interference (RNAi) is powerful way for suppressing gene expression. In the gene silencing process by RNAi, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is processed to small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), which can mediate the cleavage of complementary target mRNA. Although siRNA mediated-gene silencing has been developed significantly, safe and effective intracellular delivery must be addressed to realize the full potential of siRNA therapeutics.
Nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) have emerged as versatile polymers that can be employed as a building block to build precisely controlled structures. With their biologically relevant functionality, self-assembled DNA or RNA structures are able to function astherapeutic agents for cancer treatment, viral infection and genetic diseases. Therefore, RNA particles encoding the sequences of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) or micro RNAs (miRNAs) have great potential for RNA interference with precise control over the shape, size and composition. In the same passion of RNA particle, DNA particles can be used for gene or oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) delivery. This rationally designed system makes use of the particles to improve drug delivery system.