Nanosize Biological RNA Particles Might Help Fight Cancer

Nanosize Biologoical RNA

Previously, we had reported on researchers who supposedly found the cell of origin for prostate cancer. Two new papers based on researches conducted by scientists from UC Santa Barbara saw scientists displaying the potential of a synthesis of nanosize biological particles to combat cancer and other diseases. These papers elucidated the new approaches, which were considered as green nanobiotechnology, since they did not make use of any artificial compounds.

Luc Jaeger is an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCSB. He stated that the revolution going on his field in the area of nanobiotechnology, pertained to understanding the role played by RNA present in our cells. The team piloted by Jaeger attempts to synthesize complex three-dimensional RNA molecules, which are nanosize polyhedrons that may have the ability to fight diseases. These molecules are known to self assemble to form new shapes.

“Considering the fact that up to 90 percent of the human genome is transcribed into RNA, it becomes clear that RNA is one of the most important biopolymers on which life is based,” said Jaeger. “We are still far from understanding all the tremendous implications of RNA in living cells. We are interested in using RNA assemblies to deliver silencing RNAs and therapeutic RNA aptamers to target cancer and other diseases. It is clear that RNA is involved in a huge number of key processes that are related to health issues.”

Moreover, Jaeger proposes that using RNA-based approaches to offer new therapies to the body could be safer than artificial compounds, as these might have negative side effects later on. He states that by making use of RNA molecules, the researchers will be utilizing green nanobiotechnology.

Recently, a paper entitled the ‘In vitro assembly of cubic RNA-based scaffolds designed in silicon’ was published online on August 30 by Nature Nanotechnology. The other one was published by Severcan and his associates earlier on July 18. Titled ‘A polyhedron made of tRNAs’, the paper went online through Nature Chemistry, whereas its print edition will appear in Nature Chemistry’s September issue.

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