RNA Medicine

RNA treats preeclampsia

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Science  14 Dec 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6420, pp. 1260-1261
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6420.1260-f

Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) bound to cholesterol can be nonselectively taken up by a range of tissues with high blood flow and porous (fenestrated) endothelium. Turanov et al. showed that such hydrophobic siRNA accumulates in the placenta, which offers possibilities for a range of therapies for pregnancy-related diseases. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy disorder caused by a circulating tyrosine kinase called sFLT1, which inhibits blood vessel formation in the placenta, thus risking damage to the pregnancy. Placenta-originated sFLT1 has a different sequence than FTL1 in other tissues, which means an siRNA can be designed to selectively silence it. This approach was tested in both mouse and baboon preeclampsia models.

Nat. Biotech. 36, 1164 (2018).

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