Short interfering RNAs (siRNAs), used in RNA interference (RNAi) technology, are powerful tools for target-gene silencing in a sequence-specific manner. In this study, Dicer-substrate 27-nucleotide (nt) double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs), which are known to have a highly potent RNAi effect, were conjugated with palmitic acid at the 5′-end of the sense strand to enhance intracellular delivery and RNAi efficacy. The palmitic acid-conjugated 27-nt dsRNAs (C16-ds27RNAs) were prepared by our simple synthesis strategy in good yield. The C16-ds27RNAs were cleaved by a Dicer enzyme, leading to the release of 21-nt siRNAs. The high level of stability in serum using C16-ds27RNAs was also confirmed. The C16-ds27RNAs showed enhanced RNAi potency targeted to both an exogenous luciferase and an endogenous vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene in the presence or absence of a transfection reagent, such as Lipofectamine 2000. In addition, the C16-ds27RNAs had a more potent gene-silencing activity than the other lipid-conjugated 21-nt siRNAs and 27-nt dsRNAs. The C16-ds27RNAs also exhibited significant membrane permeability. These results suggested that the C16-ds27RNAs will be useful for next-generation RNAi molecules that can address the problems of RNAi technology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Drug Discovery