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, 11 (10), 3395-408

Peptides Used in the Delivery of Small Noncoding RNA


Peptides Used in the Delivery of Small Noncoding RNA

Ravi S Shukla et al. Mol Pharm.


RNA interference (RNAi) is an endogenous process in which small noncoding RNAs, including small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs), post-transcriptionally regulate gene expressions. In general, siRNA and miRNA/miRNA mimics are similar in nature and activity except their origin and specificity. Although both siRNAs and miRNAs have been extensively studied as novel therapeutics for a wide range of diseases, the large molecular weight, anionic surface charges, instability in blood circulation, and intracellular trafficking to the RISC after cellular uptake have hindered the translation of these RNAs from bench to clinic. As a result, a great variety of delivery systems have been investigated for safe and effective delivery of small noncoding RNAs. Among these systems, peptides, especially cationic peptides, have emerged as a promising type of carrier due to their inherent ability to condense negatively charged RNAs, ease of synthesis, controllable size, and tunable structure. In this review, we will focus on three major types of cationic peptides, including poly(l-lysine) (PLL), protamine, and cell penetrating peptides (CPP), as well as peptide targeting ligands that have been extensively used in RNA delivery. The delivery strategies, applications, and limitations of these cationic peptides in siRNA/miRNA delivery will be discussed.

Keywords: PLL; RNA delivery; cationic peptide; cell penetrating peptide; miRNA; protamine; siRNA.

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