Special Issue "Catalytic Nucleic Acids"
A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2010).
Interests: anti-viral and anti-cancer gene therapy;-development of nucleic acid-based drugs; functional genomics; assay development and drug screening; disease models and their biology
The past decades have seen the rapid evolution of gene-silencing strategies based on catalytic nucleic acids. Since the discovery of self-cleavage and ligation activity of the group I intron, the expansion of research interest in catalytic nucleic acids has provided a valuable nonprotein resource for manipulating biomolecules. RNA-cleaving RNA enzymes or “ribozymes” hold center stage because of their tremendous potential for mediating gene inactivation. Recently a new class of catalytic nucleic acid made entirely of DNA has emerged through in vitro selection. DNA enzymes or deoxyribozyme with extraordinary RNA cleavage activity has already demonstrated their capacity for gene suppression both in vitro and in vivo. These new molecules, although rivaling the activity and stability of synthetic ribozymes, are limited equally by inefficient delivery to the intracellular target RNA. The challenge of in vivo delivery is being addressed with the assessment of a variety of approaches in animal models with the aim of bringing these compounds closer to the clinic.
Dr. Lun-Quan Sun
- in vitro selection
- gene silencing
- chemical modifications
- catalytic nucleic acids
- oligonucleotide delivery