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Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNA)-DNA Chimeras Targeting Transcription Factors as a Tool to Modify Gene Expression

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Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs)-DNA chimeras have been recently described as DNA mimics constituted of a part of PNA and of a part of DNA. We have demonstrated that double stranded molecules based on PNA-DNA chimeras bind to transcription factors in a sequence-dependent manner. Accordingly, these molecules can be used for transcription factor decoy (TFD) pharmacotherapy. Effects of double stranded PNA-DNA chimeras targeting NF-kappaB and Sp1 were determined on in vitro cultured human cells and were found to be comparable to those observed using double-stranded DNA decoys. The TFD molecules based on PNA-DNA chimeras can be further engineered by addition of short peptides facilitating cell penetration and nuclear localization. Therefore, these engineered molecules could be of great interest for in vivo experiments for non-viral gene therapy of a variety of diseases, including neoplastic and viral diseases, for which the TFD approach has been already demonstrated as a very useful strategy.
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Keywords: decoy; delivery; gene therapy; peptide-nucleic acids; transcription

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Via Luigi Borsari, 46, 44100 - Ferrara - Italy.

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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