Caged siRNAs for spatiotemporal control of gene silencing

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Various strategies have been employed to achieve control over delivery of siRNA molecules to intended target cells. Photocaging is one specific class of modifications for silencing oligonucleotides that block their bioactivity until exposure to near-ultraviolet light. These caged RNAi effectors enable both spatial and temporal targeting of a dosed release of gene silencing agents by directed light exposure that photocleaves the cage moieties. Herein we compare the photochemical properties of cage compounds and strategies for their use, attached either randomly or site-specifically, to demonstrate various forms of gene expression regulation in vitro and in vivo. This light-controllable strategy has potential applications for precisely probing developing biological systems and eventually enabling targeted gene-silencing therapeutics.

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Molecular pharmaceutics

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