Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
BioConferenceLive
JIB

Nanoscale DNA Cages for Directed Delivery of Small Drug Compounds

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 12 Sep 2013
Image: A DNA cage (at left), with lipid-like molecules (in blue). The lipids come together in a "handshake" within the cage (center image) to encapsulate small-molecule drugs (purple). The molecules are released (at right) in response to the presence of a specific nucleic acid (Photo courtesy of Thomas Edwardson, McGill University).
Image: A DNA cage (at left), with lipid-like molecules (in blue). The lipids come together in a "handshake" within the cage (center image) to encapsulate small-molecule drugs (purple). The molecules are released (at right) in response to the presence of a specific nucleic acid (Photo courtesy of Thomas Edwardson, McGill University).
A novel method for directed drug delivery is based on enclosing low molecular weight compounds in nanoscale "cages" built of DNA strands that sequester the compound until contact with a specific nucleic acid sequence triggers release of the drug.

Investigators at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) had shown previously that drugs could be loaded into gold nanoparticles that could be inserted and released from DNA nanotubes. In the current study, they greatly reduced the size of the carrier DNA constructs. Highly branched alkyl-DNA conjugates were hybridized to the edges of a DNA cube. When four amphiphiles were on one face, the hydrophobic residues of two neighboring cubes engaged in an intermolecular "handshake,” resulting in a dimer. When there were eight amphiphiles (four on the top and bottom cube faces, respectively), they engaged in an intramolecular "handshake" inside the cube. The DNA cube thus surrounded a lipid-like space into which small molecule compounds could be loaded.

Details of the construction and testing of DNA "nanocages" were published in the September 1, 2013, online edition of the journal Nature Chemistry. This paper described the creation of a three-dimensional pattern of hydrophobic patches, like side chains in proteins, which resulted in the specific, directed association of hydrophobic domains with orthogonal interactions to DNA base pairing. This formed the first example of a monodisperse micelle within a DNA nanostructure that encapsulated small molecules and released them by DNA recognition.

"This research is important for drug delivery, but also for fundamental structural biology and nanotechnology," said senior author Dr. Hanadi Sleiman, professor of chemistry at McGill University.

The investigators are now conducting cell and animal studies to assess the viability of this method on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and prostate cancer.

Related Links:

McGill University



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Molecular rendering of the crystal structure of parkin (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Cinnamon Feeding Blocks Development of Parkinson's Disease in Mouse Model

A team of neurological researchers has identified a molecular mechanism by which cinnamon acts to protect neurons from damage caused by Parkinson's disease (PD) in a mouse model of the syndrome.... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: This type of electronic pacemaker could become obsolete if induction of biological pacemaker cells by gene therapy proves successful (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Gene Therapy Induces Functional Pacemaker Cells in Pig Heart Failure Model

Cardiovascular disease researchers working with a porcine heart failure model have demonstrated the practicality of using gene therapy to replace implanted electronic pacemakers to regulate heartbeat.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Precise Ion Irradiation Dosing Method Developed for Cancer Therapy

Scientists are employing nuclear physics principles to provide more effective approaches to radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients. Radiation therapy using heavy ions is best suitable for cancer patients with tumors that are difficult to access, such as in the brain. These particles scarcely damage the penetrated... Read more

Business

view channel

Cancer Immunotherapy Sector Predicted to Surge to USD 9 Billion Across Major Pharma Through 2022

The immunotherapy market will experience substantial growth through 2022, increasing from USD 1.1 billion in 2012 to nearly USD 9 billion in 2022 (corresponding to 23.8% annual growth) in the United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan, according to recent market research. This notable growth... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.