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Molecules 2014, 19(11), 17872-17896; doi:10.3390/molecules191117872

RNA/aTNA Chimeras: RNAi Effects and Nucleases Resistance of Single and Double Stranded RNAs

1
Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC), CIBER-BBN Networking Centre on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine, Jordi Girona 18–26, Barcelona 08034, Spain
2
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Baldiri Reixac 10, Barcelona 08028, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 August 2014 / Revised: 14 October 2014 / Accepted: 15 October 2014 / Published: 4 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
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Abstract

The RNA interference pathway (RNAi) is a specific and powerful biological process, triggered by small non-coding RNA molecules and involved in gene expression regulation. In this work, we explored the possibility of increasing the biological stability of these RNA molecules by replacing their natural ribose ring with an acyclic L-threoninol backbone. In particular, this modification has been incorporated at certain positions of the oligonucleotide strands and its effects on the biological properties of the siRNA have been evaluated. In vitro cellular RNAi assays have demonstrated that the L-threoninol backbone is well tolerated by the RNAi machinery in both double and single-stranded fashion, with activities significantly higher than those evinced by the unmodified RNAs and comparable to the well-known phosphorothioate modification. Additionally, this modification conferred extremely strong resistance to serum and 3′/5′-exonucleases. In view of these results, we applied this modification to the knockdown of a therapeutically relevant human gene such as apolipoprotein B (ApoB). Further studies on the activation of the innate immune system showed that L-threoninol-modified RNAs are slightly less stimulatory than unmodified RNAs. View Full-Text
Keywords: RNAi; siRNA; 3′-overhang chemical modification; single-stranded siRNA; L-threoninol; 3′-exonuclease; 5′-exonuclease; serum resistance; ApoB gene RNAi; siRNA; 3′-overhang chemical modification; single-stranded siRNA; L-threoninol; 3′-exonuclease; 5′-exonuclease; serum resistance; ApoB gene
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Alagia, A.; Terrazas, M.; Eritja, R. RNA/aTNA Chimeras: RNAi Effects and Nucleases Resistance of Single and Double Stranded RNAs. Molecules 2014, 19, 17872-17896.

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