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:2/10/2017)... Feb 10, 2017 Research and ... "Personalized Medicine - Scientific and Commercial Aspects" to ... ... Diagnosis is integrated with therapy for selection of treatment as ... detection and prevention of disease in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... YORK , Feb. 8, 2017 About ... individual,s voice to match it against a stored ... such as pitch, cadence, and tone are compared ... require minimal hardware installation, as most PCs already ... for different transactions. Voice recognition biometrics are most ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Report Highlights ... The global synthetic-biology market reached nearly $3.9 billion in ... a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.0% through 2021. ... for synthetic biology. - Analyses of global market trends, with ... annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2021. - Coverage of core ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... AxioMed president, Jake Lubinski, describes ... characteristics when deformed, which is identical to how the human discs work to ... and return to its natural state along a hysteresis curve, exactly like a ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- GlobeImmune, Inc. today announced it has entered into a ... of its common stock to NantCell, Inc., a member ... sale of its common stock, NantCell has agreed to ... 200,000 shares, an estimated $2.0 million in value, of ... to enter into this strategic agreement with NantCell," said ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... York , March 23, 2017 According ... plasma products and derivatives market is fragmented due to the presence of ... such as Proliant, Thermo Fisher , and Sigma-Aldrich, compete with ... these three companies, collectively, held more than 76% of this market ... As ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... Researchers face a ... lab samples to full-size tissues, bones, even whole organs to implant in people ... delivers blood deep into the developing tissue. , Current bioengineering techniques, including ...
Breaking Biology Technology: