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News Therapeutic breakthrough delivers genetically modified RNA using engineered B cells

Article in 'News' Written by Arul Prakash Published Nov 27, 2013

  1. Researchers from San Diego School of Medicine using engineered B cells have successfully targeted & delivered genetically modified RNA or (miRNA) to T cell lymphocytes, which are vital in cell mediated immunity

    The study headed by Dr. Maurizio Zanetti, Director of the Laboratory of Immunology was published on
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, revealing the breakthrough that could spur development of vaccines and cancer drugs with miRNA.

    miRNA.
    A colored scanning electron micrograph of a human T lymphocyte. Image courtesy of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
    “From a practical standpoint, short non-coding RNA can be used for replacement therapy to introduce miRNA or miRNA mimetics into tissues to restore normal levels that have been reduced by a disease process or to inhibit other miRNA to increase levels of therapeutic proteins,” said Zanetti.

    “However, the explosive rate at which science has discovered miRNAs to be involved in regulating biological processes has not been matched by progress in the translational arena,” Zanetti added. “Very few clinical trials have been launched to date. Part of the problem is that we have not yet identified practical and effective methods to deliver chemically synthesized short non-coding RNA in safe and economically feasible ways.”

    Researchers transfected plasmid DNA into B cells of mice, then introduced an antigen to activate these engineered B cell to show their ability to target T cells using the natural immune system response.

    The team is now focusing on increasing the potential application of this technique by targeting and repairing T cells disabled by autoimmune or inflammatory diseases.

    “Another objective will be to further control targeting to tissues other than lymphoid organs. For example, cancer cells,” Zanetti said. “There is a world of untapped possibilities out there. We believe that the new idea – and the technology behind it – will carry a great distance in a variety of conditions to aid regulation of the immune system or control or prevent disease.”

    Further Reading : Synthesis and delivery of short, noncoding RNA by B lymphocytes
    Gonzalo Almanzaa,Veronika Anufreichika,Jeffrey J. Rodvolda,Kevin T. Chiua, Alexandra DeLaneya, Johnny C. Akersb, Clark C. Chenb, and Maurizio Zanettia
    • Arul Prakash

      Article by Arul Prakash

      Editor and founder of BiotechCareer.Org. He is an Industrial Biotechnologists and also a web developer, gooner, blogger, and foodie.

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