Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Using microRNA fit to a T (Cell)

Date:
November 25, 2013
Source:
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences
Summary:
Researchers have successfully targeted T lymphocytes – which play a central role in the body’s immune response – with another type of white blood cell engineered to synthesize and deliver bits of non-coding RNA or microRNA (miRNA).

A colored scanning electron micrograph of a human T lymphocyte is shown.
Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have successfully targeted T lymphocytes -- which play a central role in the body's immune response -- with another type of white blood cell engineered to synthesize and deliver bits of non-coding RNA or microRNA (miRNA).

The achievement in mice studies, published in this week's online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may be the first step toward using genetically modified miRNA for therapeutic purposes, perhaps most notably in vaccines and cancer treatments, said principal investigator Maurizio Zanetti, MD, professor in the Department of Medicine and director of the Laboratory of Immunology at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

"From a practical standpoint, short non-coding RNA can be used for replacement therapy to introduce miRNA or miRNA mimetics into tissues to restore normal levels that have been reduced by a disease process or to inhibit other miRNA to increase levels of therapeutic proteins," said Zanetti.

"However, the explosive rate at which science has discovered miRNAs to be involved in regulating biological processes has not been matched by progress in the translational arena," Zinetti added. "Very few clinical trials have been launched to date. Part of the problem is that we have not yet identified practical and effective methods to deliver chemically synthesized short non-coding RNA in safe and economically feasible ways."

Zanetti and colleagues transfected primary B lymphocytes, a notably abundant type of white blood cell (about 15 percent of circulating blood) with engineered plasmid DNA (a kind of replicating but non-viral DNA), then showed that the altered B cells targeted T cells in mice when activated by an antigen -- a substance that provokes an immune system response.

"This is a level-one demonstration for this new system," said Zanetti. "The next goal will be to address more complex questions, such as regulation of the class of T cells that can be induced during vaccination to maximize their protective value against pathogens or cancer.

"There are reasons to believe that the quality of T cells in response to vaccination matters to the efficacy of protection. This could push vaccination aimed at the induction of T cell responses to a new level of accuracy, predictability and ultimately, efficacy."

Other potential applications, he said, included targeting and repairing T cells disabled by autoimmune or inflammatory diseases.

"Another objective will be to further control targeting to tissues other than lymphoid organs. For example, cancer cells," Zanetti said. "There is a world of untapped possibilities out there. We believe that the new idea -- and the technology behind it -- will carry a great distance in a variety of conditions to aid regulation of the immune system or control or prevent disease."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G. Almanza, V. Anufreichik, J. J. Rodvold, K. T. Chiu, A. DeLaney, J. C. Akers, C. C. Chen, M. Zanetti. Synthesis and delivery of short, noncoding RNA by B lymphocytes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1311145110

Cite This Page:

University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Using microRNA fit to a T (Cell)." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125164218.htm>.
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. (2013, November 25). Using microRNA fit to a T (Cell). ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125164218.htm
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Using microRNA fit to a T (Cell)." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125164218.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins