siRNA technology in kidney transplantation: current status and future potential

BioDrugs. 2014 Aug;28(4):345-61. doi: 10.1007/s40259-014-0087-0.


Kidney transplantation is one of the most common transplantation operations in the world, accounting for up to 50 % of all transplantation surgeries. To curtail the damage to transplanted organs that is caused by ischemia-reperfusion injury and the recipient's immune system, small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology is being explored. Importantly, the kidney as a whole is a preferential site for non-specific systemic delivery of siRNA. To date, most attempts at siRNA-based therapy for transplantation-related conditions have remained at the in vitro stage, with only a few of them being advanced into animal models. Hydrodynamic intravenous injection of naked or carrier-bound siRNAs is currently the most common route for delivery of therapeutic constructs. To our knowledge, no systematic screens for siRNA targets most relevant for kidney transplantation have been attempted so far. A majority of researchers have arrived at one or another target of interest by analyzing current literature that dissects pathological processes taking place in transplanted organs. A majority of the genes that make up the list of 53 siRNA targets that have been tested in transplantation-related models so far belong to either apoptosis- or immune rejection-centered networks. There is an opportunity for therapeutic siRNA combinations that may be delivered within the same delivery vector or injected at the same time and, by targeting more than one pathway, or by hitting the same pathways within two different key points, will augment the effects of each other.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Kidney Transplantation / methods*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / administration & dosage*
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*


  • RNA, Small Interfering