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 July 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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