Mechanisms and strategies for effective delivery of antisense and siRNA oligonucleotides

Rudy Juliano*, Md. Rowshon Alam, Vidula Dixit and Hyumin Kang
Nucleic Acids Research, 2008, Vol. 36, No. 12, 4158–4171

The potential use of antisense and siRNA oligonucleotides as therapeutic agents has elicited a great deal of interest. However, a major issue for oligonucleotide-based therapeutics involves effective intracellular delivery of the active molecules. In this Survey and Summary, we review recent reports on delivery strategies, including conjugates of oligonucleotides with various ligands, as well as use of nanocarrier approaches. These are discussed in the context of intracellular trafficking pathways and issues regarding in vivo biodistribution of molecules and nanoparticles. Molecular-sized chemical conjugates and supramolecular nanocarriers each display advantages and disadvantages in terms of effective and nontoxic delivery. Thus, choice of an optimal delivery modality will likely depend on the therapeutic context.