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A Universal Aptamer Chimera for the Delivery of Functional microRNA-126.

Rohde JH, Weigand JE, Suess B, Dimmeler S
Nucleic acid therapeutics 2015; 2532015Jun: 141-51


microRNAs (miRs) regulate vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. miR-126 is important for endothelial cell signaling and promotes angiogenesis, protects against atherosclerosis, and reduces breast cancer cell growth and metastasis. The overexpression of miR-126, therefore, may be an attractive therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cardiovascular disease or cancer. Here we report a novel strategy to deliver miR-126 to endothelial and breast cancer cells. We tested three different strategies to deliver miR-126 by linking the miR to an aptamer for the ubiquitously expressed transferrin receptor (transferrin receptor aptamer, TRA). Linking the precursor of miR-126 (pre-miR-126) to the TRA by annealing of a complementary stick led to efficient uptake and processing of miR-126, resulting in the delivery of 1.6×10(6)±0.3×10(6) copies miR-126-3p per ng RNA in human endothelial cells and 7.4×10(5)±2×10(5) copies miR-126-3p per ng in MCF7 breast cancer cells. The functionality of the active TRA-miR-126 chimera was further demonstrated by showing that the chimera represses the known miR-126 target VCAM-1 and improved endothelial cell sprouting in a spheroid assay. Moreover, the TRA-miR-126 chimera reduced proliferation and paracrine endothelial cell recruitment of breast cancer cells to a similar extent as miR-126-3p mimics introduced by conventional liposome-based transfection. Together, this data demonstrates that pre-miR-126 can be delivered by a non-specific aptamer to exert biological functions in two different cell models. The use of the TRA-miR-126 chimera or the combination of the delivery strategy with other endothelial or tumor specific aptamers may provide an interesting therapeutic option to treat vascular disease or cancers.

Zugehörigkeit: 1Institute for Cardiovascular Regeneration, Center of Molecular Medicine, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.

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