An artificial cationic oligosaccharide combined with phosphorothioate linkages strongly improves siRNA stability
Atsushi Irie, Kazuki Sato, Rintaro Iwata Hara, Takeshi Wada & Futoshi Shibasaki
Scientific Reports volume 10, Article number: 14845 (2020)
Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are potential tools for gene-silencing therapy, but their instability is one of the obstacles in the development of siRNA-based drugs. To improve siRNA stability, we synthesised a double-stranded RNA-binding cationic oligodiaminogalactose 4mer (ODAGal4) and investigated here its characteristics for siRNA stabilisation in vitro. ODAGal4 improved the resistance of various siRNAs against serum degradation. The effect of ODAGal4 on siRNA stabilisation was further amplified by introduction of modified nucleotides into the siRNA. In particular, a combination of ODAGal4 and incorporation of phosphorothioate linkages into the siRNA prominently prevented degradation by serum. The half-lives of fully phosphorothioate-modified RNA duplexes with ODAGal4 were more than 15 times longer than those of unmodified siRNAs without ODAGal4; this improvement in serum stability was superior to that observed for other chemical modifications. Serum degradation assays of RNAs with multiple chemical modifications showed that ODAGal4 preferentially improves the stability of RNAs with phosphorothioate modification among chemical modifications. Furthermore, melting temperature analysis showed that ODAGal4 greatly increases the thermal stability of phosphorothioate RNAs. Importantly, ODAGal4 did not interrupt gene-silencing activity of all the RNAs tested. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that ODAGal4 is a potent stabiliser of siRNAs, particularly nucleotides with phosphorothioate linkages, representing a promising tool in the development of gene-silencing therapies.
Circular dichroism, RNA secondary structure, siRNA