Using Planar Phi29 pRNA Three-Way Junction to Control Size and Shape of RNA Nanoparticles for Biodistribution Profiling in Mice.

Haque F, Xu C, Jasinski DL, Li H, Guo P
Methods Mol Biol 1632 359-380 01/01/2017


RNA is rapidly emerging as a versatile building block for nanoparticle assembly due to its simplicity in base pairing, while exhibiting diversity in function such as enzymatic activity similar to some proteins. Recent advances in RNA nanotechnology have generated significant interests in applying RNA nanoparticles for various applications in nanotechnology and nanomedicine. In particular, assessing the effect of size and shape on cell entry and intracellular trafficking as well as in vivo biodistribution of nanoparticles is challenging due to the lack of nanoparticles rich in structure while varying in size and shape. RNA nanotechnology exemplified by the packaging RNA (pRNA) of bacteriophage phi29 DNA packaging motor has provided a different prospect in nanoparticle designs. Of note, there is a robust three-way junction (3WJ) motif in pRNA which can serve as an adaptable scaffold to construct thermodynamically stable 2D planar and 3D globular RNA architectures with tunable shapes and sizes, and harboring various targeting, therapeutic, and imaging modules. This chapter focuses on the methods for constructing pRNA-3WJ based nanoparticles with controllable sizes and shapes, and assessment of their biodistribution profiles in cancer mouse models after systemic injection and ocular mouse models following subconjunctival injection.

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