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 April 19, 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 April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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