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Albumin-Binding Aptamer Chimeras for Improved siRNA Bioavailability


Rosch JCJonah C , Hoogenboezem ENElla N , Sorets AGAlexander G , Duvall CLCraig L , Lippmann ESEthan S . Cellular and molecular bioengineering. 2022 1 24; 15(2). 161-173


Introduction: Short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are potent nucleic acid-based drugs designed to target disease driving genes that may otherwise be undruggable with small molecules. However, therapeutic potential of siRNA is limited by poor pharmacokinetic properties, including rapid renal clearance and nuclease degradation. Backpacking on natural carriers such as albumin, which is present at high concentration and has a long half-life in serum, is an effective way to modify pharmacokinetics of biologic drugs that otherwise have poor bioavailability. In this work, we sought to develop albumin-binding aptamer-siRNA chimeras to improve the bioavailability of siRNA.

Methods: A Systematic Evolution of Ligands through Exponential Enrichment (SELEX) approach was used to obtain modified RNA-binding aptamers, which were then fused directly to siRNA via transcription. Molecular and pharmacokinetic properties of the aptamer-siRNA chimeras were subsequently measured and .

Results: assays show that albumin-binding aptamers are stable in serum while maintaining potent gene knockdown capabilities in the chimera format. , the absolute circulation half-life of the best-performing aptamer-siRNA chimera (Clone 1) was 1.6-fold higher than a scrambled aptamer chimera control.

Conclusions: Aptamer-siRNA chimeras exhibit improved bioavailability without compromising biological activity. Hence, this albumin-binding aptamer-siRNA chimera approach may be a promising strategy for drug delivery applications.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12195-022-00718-y.