Discovery of a universal system for transporting nucleic acids into cells
News — 21.09.2021

Discovery of a universal system for transporting nucleic acids into cells

Researchers from IOCB Prague have discovered a new type of substances capable of safely transporting various types of nucleic acids used for therapeutic purposes into cells, from basic building blocks to long chains of RNA or DNA. The universal nature of their system sets it apart from existing solutions and opens the door to a wide variety of applications in the treatment of genetic diseases as well as in mRNA vaccines, which have become popular in recent times. The results of their research were published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

The nucleic acids DNA and RNA are primarily known as carriers of genetic information. Currently, the mRNA molecule, which forms the basis of genetic vaccines against COVID-19, has generated a lot of attention. The mRNA molecule serves as a kind of prescription for the synthesis of a specific protein, for example the spike protein of the coronavirus, against which the organism then begins to naturally produce antibodies. This synthesis takes place within the cell, so the appropriate molecule must first get there safely.

“RNA is a highly unstable substance that is subject to rapid degradation. In order to transport it into the cell at all, it has to be packaged to protect it from the surrounding environment and ensure its safe transport into the cell body. But that’s no trivial problem,” explains Klára Grantz Šašková of the Proteases of Human Pathogens group at IOCB Prague and Head of the BIOCEV project.

More information in the official press release of IOCB HERE

Original article:
Hejdankova, Z., Vanek, V., Sedlak, F., Prochazka, J., Diederichs, A., Kereïche, S., Novotna, B., Bude-sinsky, M., Birkus, G., Grantz Saskova, K., Cigler, P., Lipid Nanoparticles for Broad-Spectrum Nucleic Acid Deli-very. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2021, 2101391.

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