Barcoding chemical modifications into nucleic acids improves drug stability in vivo
The efficacy of nucleic acid therapies can be limited by unwanted degradation. Chemical modifications are known to improve nucleic acid stability, but the (i) types, (ii) positions, and (iii) numbers of modifications all matter, making chemically optimizing nucleic acids a combinatorial problem. As a result, in vivo studies of nucleic acid stability are time consuming and expensive. We reasoned that DNA barcodes could simultaneously study how chemical modification patterns affect nucleic acid stability, saving time and resources. We confirmed that rationally designed DNA barcodes can elucidate the role of specific chemical modifications in serum, in vitro and in vivo; we also identified a modification pattern that enhanced stability. This approach to screening chemical modifications in vivo can efficiently optimize nucleic acid structure, which will improve biomaterial-based nucleic acid drugs.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Recent Open Access Articles, Materials and Nano Research in Atlanta and Journal of Materials Chemistry B Emerging Investigators