Featured Discovery

Home > Featured Discovery > Breakthroughs in Spherical Nucleic Acids Capturing MiRNA in Living Cells

Breakthroughs in Spherical Nucleic Acids Capturing MiRNA in Living Cells

May 20, 2021      Author:

Recently, associate professor Wang Fei from SJTU Transformative Molecules Frontier Science Center together with researcher Wang Lihua and Li Jiang from Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a method for compartmenting and programming gold-nanoparticles-and-polyA-DNA‐based spherical nucleic acids, which could capture oncogenic miRNAs with high efficiency and then suppress tumor growth. Their research article titled  "Compartmenting poly-adenine-based spherical nucleic acids for efficient live-cell microRNA capture" was published on the website of Angew Chem. Jiao Kai, Yan Qinglong, and Guo Linjie are first authors; Wang Fei is the corresponding author.

This research developed a method for compartmenting and programming spherical nucleic acids. With high cell entry efficiency, the method could optimize the capture ability by programming the length of polyAs, thus better capturing oncogenic miRNAs in cells and suppressing tumor growth. This method provides a new strategy for the configuration of exogenous nucleic acids and exhibits wider application in intracellular molecular recognition and gene therapy.

 

Author: Jiao Kai

Source: Transformative Molecules Frontier Science Center, SJTU

Translated by Zhang Wenying

Proofread by Xiao Yangning, Fu Yuhe

 

ABSTRACT:

Direct delivery of exogenous non‐coding nucleic acids into living cells has attracted intense interest in biological applications. However, the cell entry efficiency and target capture ability remain to be improved. Here we develop a method for compartmenting poly‐adenine‐based spherical nucleic acids (polyA‐SNAs) for efficient capture of oncogenic microRNAs (miRNAs) in living cells. We find that polyA‐SNAs exhibit high cell entry efficiency insensitive to the configuration of the anti‐miRNA sequences. By programming the length of polyAs, we precisely engineer the spatial configuration of the anti‐miRNA sequences in polyA‐SNAs. Compartmentalized polyA‐SNAs bind to miRNAs with improved capture ability as compared to densely compacted SNAs. We further demonstrate that polyA‐SNAs serve as high‐efficacy miRNA sponges for capturing oncogenic miRNAs both in living cells and in mice. The efficient inhibition of miRNAs results in significant suppression of tumor growth.