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Synthesis of Self Permeable Antisense PMO Using C5-Guanidino-Functionalized Pyrimidines at the 5'-End Enables Sox2 Downregulation in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Das A, Gupta S, Shaw P, Sinha S
Mol Pharm. 2024 Feb 7. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.3c00924. Online ahead of print
Delivery of macromolecular drugs inside cells has been a huge challenge in the field of oligonucleotide therapeutics for the past few decades. Earliest natural inspirations included the arginine rich stretch of cell permeable HIV-TAT peptide, which led to the design of several molecular transporters with varying numbers of rigid or flexible guanidinium units with different tethering groups. These transporters have been shown to efficiently deliver phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligonucleotides, which have a neutral backbone and cannot form lipoplexes. In this report, PMO based delivery agents having 3 or 4 guanidinium groups at the C5 position of the nucleobases of cytosine and uracil have been explored, which can be assimilated within the desired stretch of the antisense oligonucleotide. Guanidinium units have been connected by varying the flexibility with either a saturated (propyl) or an unsaturated (propargyl) spacer, which showed different serum dependency along with varied cytoplasmic distribution. The effect of cholesterol conjugation in the delivery agent as well as at the 5'-end of full length PMO in cellular delivery has also been studied. Finally, the efficacy of the delivery has been studied by the PMO mediated downregulation of the stemness marker Sox2 in the triple-negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB 231. These results have validated the use of this class of delivery agents, which permit at a stretch PMO synthesis where the modified bases can also participate in Watson-Crick-Franklin base pairing for enhanced mRNA binding and protein downregulation and could solve the delivery problem of PMO.
Not Epub
Organism or Cell Type: 
cell culture: triple-negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB 231
Delivery Method: 
base-linked guanidinium