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Drug delivery

Short RNA delivery by engineered B cells

A study in cell culture and mice suggests engineered B cells could be used to deliver therapeutic short RNAs to other immune cells. Murine B cells were harvested and transfected with a plasmid encoding an antisense RNA sequence against microRNA-150 (miR-150), which regulates T cell development. In mice, autologous transplantation of transfected B cells engineered to secrete anti-miR-150 led to knockdown of miR-150 activity in T cells. Next steps include characterizing the functional effects of miR-150 knockdown in mouse models of cancer and inflammatory disease (see Plan B for anti-miRNA, page 6).

SciBX 6(47); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1365
Published online Dec. 12, 2013

Patent pending; available for licensing

Almanza, G. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Nov. 25, 2013;
Contact: Maurizio Zanetti, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.