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High Sensitivity RT-qPCR Assay of Nonlabeled siRNA in Small Blood Volume for Pharmacokinetic Studies: Application to Survivin siRNA.

The AAPS journal (2015-08-20)
Bertrand Z Yeung, Ze Lu, Guillaume M Wientjes, Jessie L-S Au

RNAi therapeutics provide an opportunity to correct faulty genes, and several RNAi have entered clinical evaluation. The existing quantification methods typically use radioactivity- or fluorescence-labeled RNAi, require large blood volumes, and/or have a limited dynamic detection range. We established a quantitative reverse transcriptase real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) assay to measure RNAi; the model analyte was survivin siRNA (siSurvivin). A second siRNA was used as the internal standard. The three major steps were (a) extraction of the two siRNAs from blood or water, (b) synthesis of their cDNA by poly-A extension, and (c) qPCR of cDNA. Standard curves were established. Utility of the assay was demonstrated in a pharmacokinetic study where all 12 samples for the blood concentration-time profile were obtained from a single mouse given an intravenous dose of 1 nmole siSurvivin (prepared as lipoplex with pegylated cationic liposomes). The RT-qPCR assay was sensitive (lower detection limit of 100 fM) and had a 5 × 107-fold dynamic range and low sample volume requirement (10 μL). The 16-point standard curves constructed using whole blood samples were linear (R (2) > 0.98). The intraday and interday variations for the slopes were ≤6%, although the variations for accuracy and precision at individual concentrations were substantially higher (58-145%). Standard curves prepared with water in place of blood showed similar results (<6% difference), indicating water may be used when blood is not available. The current RT-qPCR assay enabled the measurement of nonlabeled siRNA in small volume of blood samples.

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