Navigation Links
Nanodisk gene therapy
Date:1/11/2011

One of the challenges of gene therapy - a set of methodologies aimed at treating several nucleic acid diseases (DNA or RNA) - is to assure that this material arrives directly to the nucleus of the cell without losing a substantial amount along the way and without producing any undesired side effects. With this aim, scientists experiment with the use of different types of vectors, molecules capable of transporting genetic material to the correct place. Presently, natural "deactivated" viruses are the most commonly used vectors in clinical trials, their side effects however often limit therapeutic application.

One of the most promising alternatives in this field is the use of artificial viruses. These viruses can be constructed through genetic engineering by assembling minute protein structures made up of peptides, the building blocks of proteins.

The team of scientists, led by Antonio Villaverde, lecturer of the Department of Genetics and Microbiology, researcher at the UAB Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine and of the Biomedical Research Networking Center in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), demonstrated that the peptide R9, formed by a specific type of amino-acid (arginine), can encapsulate genetic material, assemble itself with other identical molecules to form nanoparticles and enter directly into the cell nucleus to release the material it contains. The nanoparticles have the shape of a disk, with a diameter measuring 20 nanometres and a height of 3 nm.

The study was published recently in the journals Biomaterials and Nanomedicine and describes how scientists studied the performance of R9 nanodisks in the interior of the cells using confocal microscopy techniques provided by the UAB Microscopy Service and applied by Dr Mnica Roldn. The images show that once the cell membrane is passed, particles travel directly to the nucleus at a rate of 0.0044 micrometres per second, ten times faster than if they dispersed passively in the interior. Nanoparticles accumulate in the interior of the nucleus and not in the cytoplasm - the thick liquid between the cell membrane and nucleus - and therefore increase their level of effectiveness. One of the photos was selected by the journal Biomaterials as one of the 12 images of the year 2010.

Participating in this discovery were researchers from the Institute of Material Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), and the Technical University of Catalonia. The discovery represents a new category of nanoparticles offering therapeutic benefits. According to Dr Esther Vzquez, director of the project, "nanodisks assemble automatically, move rapidly, remain stable and travel to the interior of the nucleus. This makes them a promising tool as a prototype for the safe administration of nucleic acids and functional proteins."


'/>"/>

Contact: Antonio Villaverde
antoni.villaverde@uab.cat
34-935-813-086
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Invention could improve cancer drug delivery, lessen harmful effects of chemotherapy
2. New breathing therapy reduces panic and anxiety by reversing hyperventilation
3. Missing molecules hold promise of therapy for pancreatic cancer
4. Cell of origin for brain tumors may predict response to therapy
5. Killing drug-resistant melanoma requires combination therapy
6. Higher co-payments increase chance of early discontinuation, inadequate use of breast cancer therapy
7. SEBM European Best Poster Prize awarded at Annual Conference of the German Society for Gene Therapy
8. Combination therapy reduced HER2-positive breast cancers
9. Phase III study compared neoadjuvant therapy with lapatinib or trastuzumab for early breast cancer
10. Early safety results promising for Phase I/II trial of gene therapy treatment of hemophilia B
11. Virginia Tech engineers introduce thermotherapy as a chemotherapy alternative
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ...  report to their offering.  ,      ... gait biometrics market is expected to grow at ... Gait analysis generates multiple variables such ... compute factors that are not or cannot be ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely ... pulse and body mass index, and, when they opt ... and convenient visit to a local retail location at ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys ... founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned ... of the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology ... of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of ... to the company. Dr. Bready served as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report published today in ... patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection ... for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated ... the medical community, has closed its Series A funding ... . "We have received a commitment from ... we need to meet our current goals," stated ... the runway to complete validation on the current projects ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, the ... the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to finish ... 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following equities: Infinity ... NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing their free ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality ... 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still ...
Breaking Biology Technology: