UCLA researchers in the Department of Biological Chemistry have developed a novel approach for miRNA inhibition.
Micro RNA (miRNA) are short, 22 nucleotide RNA sequences. They play a critical role in post-transcription gene regulation and their mis-regulation is associated with different diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, and metabolic diseases. Therapeutic strategies that require elimination of the miRNA use complementary RNA sequences that bind the target miRNA and inhibit its normal function. However, this approach is highly inefficient, as it needs stoichiometric amounts of the antagonist.
UCLA researchers have designed novel miRNA antagonists. Their approach uses modified antagonists with increased activity and results in clearance of the target miRNA. These antagonists are powerful tools for therapeutic purposes and as research tools to characterize miRNAs with unknown functions.
Currently being tested.