Applications of PNA-laden nanoparticles for hematological disorders
Safe and efficient genome editing has been an unmitigated goal for biomedical researchers since its inception. The most prevalent strategy for gene editing is the use of engineered nucleases that induce DNA damage and take advantage of cellular DNA repair machinery. This includes meganucleases, zinc-finger nucleases, transcription activator-like effector nucleases, and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR/Cas9) systems. However, the clinical viability of these nucleases is marred by their off-target cleavage activity (≥ 50% in RNA-guided endonucleases). In addition, in vivo applications of CRISPR require systemic administration of Cas9 protein, mRNA, or DNA, which presents a significant delivery challenge. The development of nucleic acid probes that can recognize specific double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) regions and activate endogenous DNA repair machinery holds great promise for gene editing applications. Triplex-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs), which were introduced more than 25 years ago, are among the most extensively studied oligomeric dsDNA-targeting agents. TFOs bind duplex DNA to create a distorted helical structure, which can stimulate DNA repair and the exchange of a nearby mutated region—otherwise leading to an undesired phenotype—for a short single-stranded donor DNA that contains the corrective nucleotide sequence. Recombination can be induced within several hundred base-pairs of the TFO binding site and has been shown to depend on triplex-induced initiation of the nucleotide excision repair pathway and engagement of the homology-dependent repair pathway. Since TFOs do not possess any direct nuclease activity, their off-target effects are minimal when compared to engineered nucleases. This review comprehensively covers the advances made in peptide nucleic acid-based TFOs for site-specific gene editing and their therapeutic applications.
KeywordsPNA PLGA nanoparticles Gamma PNA Gene editing Anemia
This work was supported by University of Connecticut startup funds. In addition, this material is based upon work supported by the State of Connecticut under the Regenerative Medicine Research Fund and Cooley’s Anemia Foundation Research Fellowship Grant application. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the State of Connecticut or Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated.
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