CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0412.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19; antisense oligonucleotide; ASO; LNA GapmeR
Online: 23 April 2020 (11:30:39 CEST)
The severity of the global COVID-19 pandemic, with a high transmission rate, 2.6-4.7% lethality and a huge economic impact, poses an urgent need for efficient medical treatments and vaccines. Currently, there are only non-specific treatments to assist the patients in acute respiratory distress during the inflammatory step following the preliminary infection by SARS-CoV-2. Clinical trials of drug repurposing were quickly launched at the international level. Specific treatments such as the transfusion of plasma from patients who have recovered into infected patients or the use of specific inhibitors of the viral RNA-polymerase complex are promising strategies to block infection. To complete the therapeutic arsenal, we believe that the opportunity of targeting the SARS-CoV-2 genome by RNA therapy should be deeply investigated. In the present paper, we propose to design specific antisense oligonucleotides targeting transcripts encoding viral proteins associated to replication and transcription of SARS-CoV-2, aiming to block infection. We designed antisense oligonucleotides targeting the genomic 5’ untranslated region (5’-UTR), open reading frames 1a and 1b (ORF1a and ORF1b) governing expression of the replicase/transcriptase complex, and the gene N encoding the nucleoprotein that is genome-associated. To maximize the probability of efficiency, we predicted the antisense oligonucleotides by using two design methods: i) conventional antisense oligonucleotides with 100% phosphorothioate modifications (ASO); ii) antisense locked nucleic acids GapmeR. After binding the viral RNA target, the hetero-duplexes antisense oligonucleotide-RNA are cleaved by RNAse H1. Nine potent ASO candidates were found and we selected five of them targeting ORF1a (3), ORF1b (1) and N (1). Nine GapmeR candidates were predicted with excellent properties and we retained four of them targeting 5’-UTR (1), ORF1a (3), ORF1b (1) and N (1). The most potent GapmeR candidate targets the 5’-UTR, a key genomic domain with multiple functions in the viral cycle. By this open publication, we are pleased to share these in silico results with the scientific community in hopes of stimulating innovation in translational research in order to fight the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. These antisense oligonucleotide candidates should be now experimentally evaluated.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0429.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dermatology Keywords: RNA therapeutics; skin; mRNA therapeutics; siRNA therapeutics; antisense oligonucleotide ther-apeutics; ASO; melanoma; hypertrophic scars; wound healing; dermatology
Online: 27 February 2023 (01:53:06 CET)
Despite being under development for decades, RNA therapeutics have only recently emerged as viable platform technologies. The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have demonstrated the promise and power of the platform technology. In response, novel RNA drugs are entering clinical trials at an accelerating rate. As the skin is the largest and most accessible organ, it has always been a preferred target for drug discovery. This holds true for RNA therapies as well, and multiple candidate RNA-based drugs are currently in development for an array of skin conditions. In this mini review, we catalog the RNA therapies currently in clinical trials for different dermatological diseases. We summarize the main types of RNA-related drugs and use examples of drugs currently in development to illustrate their key mechanism of action.