siRNA Delivery Using Hexameric Tetrahedral RNA Nanostructures for Gene Silencing

RNA interference (RNAi) is a biological response to double-stranded RNA that regulates expression of protein-coding genes and is a natural mechanism for gene silencing. Delivery of short, interfering RNA (siRNA) leads to RNAi of the targeted genes. 

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), developed a tetrahedral-shaped RNA nanoparticle for the delivery of siRNA to activate RNAi. The tetrahedral RNA nanoparticle is comprised of four RNA nanorings as the “faces” of the tetrahedral scaffold. 

The tetrahedral RNA nanoparticles can contain up to twelve Dicer substrate RNA duplexes, enabling the simultaneous targeting of multiple genes with several siRNA copies. 

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Targeted therapeutic for cancer
  • Research tool to study cancer
  • Targeted therapeutic for RNA-based viruses
  • Increased functional capacity of RNA nanoparticles
  • Can contain up to 12 targeting siRNAs while maintaining thermodynamic stability
  • Allows for substitution of several siRNAs with other functional moieties while still maintaining large number of targeting siRNAs
  • Shown to have superior cell uptake capabilities and silencing capacity compared to some other RNA-based nanoconstructs
  • Can be assembled by co-transcriptional folding or one-pot processes

Development Stage:
Basic (Target Identification)

Related Invention(s):


Bruce Shapiro (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Paul Zakrevsky (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Luc Jaeger (UCSB)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
Application No. 62/696,619

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing and research collaboration

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-075-2018
Updated: Dec 14, 2018