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AAAS highlights NCL, UNC-Charlotte, Ball State collaboration

AAAS recently highlighted work conducted as part of a longstanding collaboration between NCL, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and Ball State University, investigating immune responses to nucleic acid-based nanoparticles. The project has been led by Dr. Marina Dobrovolskaia, Sr. Principal Scientist at NCL and Prof. Kirill Afonin, UNC-Charlotte, and describes a recent Nano Letters publication (2018, 18(7), 4309-4321) entitled “Structure and Composition Define Immunorecognition of Nucleic Acid Nanoparticles.”

The study describes a systematic screen of 25 RNA and DNA-based nanoparticles of varying size, shape, sequence complementarity, connectivity and molecular weight, and evaluated them for induction of 29 different cytokines. Among the findings were that nucleic acid nanoparticles were not immunostimulatory unless delivered into the immune cells via an additional lipid carrier. After internalization through the aid of this carrier, the responses varied depending on particle composition, size, shape and structure. RNA nanoparticles tended to be more reactive than DNA nanoparticles, and the globular structures produced greater response than planar structures.

Read the full press release here:

Drs. Dobrovolskaia and Afonin have several joint publications on nucleic acid nanoparticles:

Structure and Composition Define Immunorecognition of Nucleic Acid Nanoparticles.
Enping Hong, Justin R. Halman, Ankit B. Shah, Emil F. Khisamutdinov, Marina A. Dobrovolskaia, and Kirill A. Afonin
Nano Letters, 2018, 18(7), 4309-4321.
PMID: 29894623

Programmable Nucleic Acid Based Polygons with Controlled Neuroimmunomodulatory Properties for Predictive QSAR Modeling.
Johnson MB, Halman JR, Satterwhite E, Zakharov AV, Bui MN, Benkato K, Goldsworthy V, Kim T, Hong E, Dobrovolskaia MA, Khisamutdinov EF, Marriott I, Afonin KA
Small. 2017;13(42), 1701255.
PMID: 28922553

Functionally-interdependent shape-switching nanoparticles with controllable properties.
Halman, J.R., Satterwhite, E., Roark, B., Chandler, M., Viard, M., Ivanina, A., Bindewald, E., Kasprzak, W.K., Panigaj, M., Bui, M.N., Lu, J.S., Miller, J., Khisamutdinov, E.F., Shapiro, B.A., Dobrovolskaia, M.A., and Afonin, K.A.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2017, 45(4), 2210-2220.
PMID: 28108656

Triggering of RNA Interference with RNA-RNA, RNA-DNA, and DNA-RNA Nanoparticles.
Afonin, K.A., Viard, M., Kagiampakis, I., Case, C.L., Dobrovolskaia, M.A., Hofmann, J., Vrzak, A., Kireeva, M., Kasprzak, W.K., KewalRamani, V.N., and Shapiro, B.A.
ACS Nano2015, 9(1), 251-259.
PMID:  25521794

Design and self-assembly of siRNA-functionalized RNA nanoparticles for use in automated nanomedicine
Afonin, K. A.; Grabow, W. W.; Walker, F. M.; Bindewald, E.; Dobrovolskaia, M. A.; Shapiro, B. A.; and Jaeger, L.
Nat Protoc2011, 6(12), 2022-2034. 
PMID: 22134126