Modern tools of genomics and proteomics reveal potential therapeutic antisense targets in asthma, increasing the interest in the development of anti-mRNA drugs. In allergic asthma experimental models, antisense oligonucleotides (ASO) are administered by inhalation or systemically. ASO can be used for a large number of molecular targets: cell membrane receptors (G-protein coupled receptors, cytokine and chemokine receptors), membrane proteins, ion channels, cytokines and related factors, signaling non-receptor protein kinases (tyrosine kinases, and serine/threonine kinases) and regulators of transcription belonging to Cys4 zinc finger of nuclear receptor type or beta-scaffold factors with minor groove contacts classes/superclasses of transcription factors. A respirable ASO against the adenosine A(1) receptor was investigated in human trials. RNase P-associated external guide sequence (EGS) delivered into pulmonary tissues represents a potentially new therapeutic approach in asthma as well as ribozyme strategies. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting key molecules involved in the patho-physiology of allergic asthma are expected to be of benefit as RNAi immunotherapy. Antagomirs, synthetic analogs of microRNA (miRNA), have important roles in regulation of gene expression in asthma. RNA interference (RNAi) technologies offer higher efficiency in suppressing the expression of specific genes, compared with traditional antisense approaches.
Keywords: RNA interference; antisense oligonucleotides; asthma; ribozymes.