An Overview of Various Carriers for siRNA Delivery
1. Department of Biology and Advanced Placement Biology, White Station High School, Memphis, Tennessee 38117. USA. email@example.com
2. Departments of Biology and Advanced Placement Biology, White Station High School, Memphis, Tennessee 38117. USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA. email@example.com
RNA interference through the use of short interfering molecules known as short interfering RNA (siRNA) has the potential to greatly advance research in treatments for many diseases because it has the ability to silence the expression of specific genes by helping degrade target mRNA. However, challenges to siRNA delivery have made the development of safe and effective delivery systems paramount in siRNA research. Various types of delivery systems have been proposed and investigated for siRNA delivery and therapy. Although viral vectors have been established to be the most effective in delivering siRNA molecules, they also raise many concerns over biosafety, especially concerning immunogenicity. Therefore, many researchers have begun to investigate and study non-viral vectors. Non-viral vectors are studied because they are typically considered to be safer than viral vectors albeit less efficient as well. The three general non-viral vectors that have been studied for siRNA delivery are lipid-based, non-lipid organic-based, and non-lipid inorganic-based carriers. Within those general parameters of non-viral vector classification are subtypes that are each unique with their own characteristic benefits and downsides. Many of these carriers, as well as even naked siRNA, do have the potential to be modified so that siRNA delivery could be further enhanced with benefits such as greater stability and duration. Researchers still must be wary with alterations as to not interfere with siRNA function. Currently, widespread siRNA therapeutics are still out of reach, but as more advancements in siRNA research including research on their delivery mechanisms are established, the goal of integrating siRNA therapy into the treatment of a multitude of diseases becomes increasingly more of a possibility. Researchers are currently investigating how siRNA can be used to not just treat cancer but ocular and neurodegenerative diseases as well as many others. There are still many obstacles to face and overcome before siRNA therapy can be implemented into the treatment of many diseases, and more research must still be conducted concerning siRNA delivery systems. Many advancements pertaining to siRNA carriers have been made, and many more are likely on their way.
Keywords: RNA interference, siRNA therapy, siRNA carriers, viral vectors, non-viral vectors