NickFect type of cell-penetrating peptides present enhanced efficiency for microRNA-146a delivery into dendritic cells and during skin inflammation

Gemma Carreras-Badosa, Julia Maslovskaja, Kapilraj Periyasamy, Egon Urgard, Kärt Padari, Helen Vaher, Liina Tserel, Maxime Gestin, Kai Kisand, Piret Arukuusk, Chenguang Lou, Ülo Langel, Jesper Wengel, Margus Pooga, Ana Rebane*

*Kontaktforfatter for dette arbejde

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcriptional gene expression regulators with potential therapeutic applications. miR-146a is a negative regulator of inflammatory processes in both tissue-resident and specialized immune cells and may therefore have therapeutic effect in inflammatory skin diseases. PepFect (PF) and NickFect (NF) type of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have previously been shown to deliver miRNA mimics and/or siRNAs into cell cultures and in vivo. Here, we first demonstrate that selected PF- and NF-type of CPPs support delivery of fluorescent labelled miRNA mimics into keratinocytes (KCs) and dendritic cells (DCs). Second, we show that both PF- and NF-miR-146a nanocomplexes were equally effective in KCs, while NFs were more efficient in DCs as assessed by downregulation of miR-146a-influenced genes. None of miRNA nanocomplexes with the tested CPPs influenced the viability of KCs and DCs nor caused activation of DCs according to CD86 and CD83 markers. Transmission electron microscopy analysis with Nanogold-labelled miR-146a mimics and assessment of endocytic trafficking pathways revealed endocytosis as an active route of delivery in both KCs and DCs for all tested CPPs. However, consistent with the higher efficiency, NF-delivered miR-146a was detected more often outside endosomes in DCs. Finally, pre-injection of NF71:miR-146a nanocomplexes was confirmed to suppress inflammatory responses in a mouse model of irritant contact dermatitis as shown by reduced ear swelling response and downregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6, IL-1β, IL-33 and TNF-α. In conclusion, NF71 efficiently delivers miRNA mimics into KCs as well as DCs, and therefore may have advantage in therapeutic delivery of miRNAs in case of inflammatory skin diseases.

StatusUdgivet - dec. 2020


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