Optimized siRNA-PEG Conjugates for Extended Blood Circulation and Reduced Urine Excretion in Mice

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Some of the main concerns with in vivo application of naked small interfering RNA are rapid degradation and urinary excretion resulting in a short plasma half-life. In this study we investigated how conjugation of polyethylene glycol (PEG) with variable chain length affects siRNA pharmacokinetics and biodistribution. The PEG chains were conjugated to chemically stabilized siRNA at the 5' terminal end of the passenger strand using click chemistry. The siRNA conjugate remained functionally active and showed significantly prolonged circulation in the blood stream after intravenous injection. siRNA conjugated with 20kDa PEG (PEG20k-siRNA) was most persistent, approximately 50% PEG20k-siRNA remained 1h post-injection, while the uncoupled siRNA was rapidly removed >90% at 15min. In vivo fluorescent imaging of the living animal showed increased concentration of siRNA in peripheral tissue and delayed urine excretion when coupled to PEG 20k. Biodistribution studies by northern blotting revealed equal distribution of conjugated siRNA in liver, kidney, spleen and lung without significant degradation 24 h post-injection. Our study demonstrates that PEG conjugated siRNA can be applied as a delivery system to improve siRNA bioavailability in vivo and may potentially increase the efficiency of siRNA in therapeutic applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTheranostics
Volume3
Issue3
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
ISSN1838-7640
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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