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Polypurine Reverse Hoogsteen Hairpins as a Gene Silencing Tool for Cancer

[ Vol. 24 , Issue. 26 ]

Author(s):

Carlos J. Ciudad, Laura Rodríguez, Xenia Villalobos, Alex J. Félix and Véronica Noé*   Pages 2809 - 2826 ( 18 )

Abstract:


Polypurine reverse Hoogsteen (PPRH) molecules are DNA hairpins formed by two polypurine strands running in an antiparallel orientation and containing no nucleotide modifications. The two strands, linked by a pentathymidine loop, are bound through intramolecular reverse Hoogsteen bonds. Then, PPRHs can bind by Watson-Crick bonds to their corresponding polypyrimidine target in the dsDNA provoking a displacement of the polypurine strand of the duplex. We described the effect and mechanisms of action of PPRHs in cells using PPRHs designed against the template and coding strands of the dhfr gene. The proof of principle of PPRHs as a therapeutic tool was established using a PPRH against survivin in a xenograft prostate cancer tumor model. To improve the PPRHs effect, the influence of the length was studied obtaining a higher efficiency with longer molecules. To decrease the possible offtarget effect, when a purine interruption is found in the pyrimidine target, the PPRH sequence should contain both strands of the complementary base opposite to the interruption. Furthermore, the stability of PPRHs is higher than that of siRNAs, as evidenced by the longer halflife of the former in different types of serum and in PC3 cells. PPRHs do not induce the levels of the transcription factors nor the proinflammatory cytokines involved in the Toll-like Receptor pathway and they do not trigger the formation of the inflammasome complex. PPRHs can be used as therapeutic tools to target genes related to cancer progression, resistance to drugs or immunotherapy approaches.

Keywords:

PPRHs, cancer, gene silencing, Hoogsteen bonds, apoptosis, stability, immunotherapy.

Affiliation:

Department of Biochemistry and Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Department of Biochemistry and Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Department of Biochemistry and Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Department of Biochemistry and Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Department of Biochemistry and Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Barcelona



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