American Chemical Society
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In Vitro and in Vivo RNA Inhibition by CD9-HuR Functionalized Exosomes Encapsulated with miRNA or CRISPR/dCas9

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-12-05, 00:00 authored by Zhelong Li, Xueying Zhou, Mengying Wei, Xiaotong Gao, Lianbi Zhao, Ruijing Shi, Wenqi Sun, Yunyou Duan, Guodong Yang, Lijun Yuan
In vitro and in vivo delivery of RNAs of interest holds promise for gene therapy. Recently, exosomes are considered as a kind of rational vehicle for RNA delivery, especially miRNA and/or siRNA, while the loading efficiency is limited. In this study, we engineered the exosomes for RNA loading by constructing a fusion protein in which the exosomal membrane protein CD9 was fused with RNA binding protein, while the RNA of interest either natively harbors or is engineered to have the elements for the binding. By proof-of-principle experiments, we here fused CD9 with HuR, an RNA binding protein interacting with miR-155 with a relatively high affinity. In the exosome packaging cells, the fused CD9-HuR successfully enriched miR-155 into exosomes when miR-155 was excessively expressed. Moreover, miR-155 encapsulated in the exosomes in turn could be efficiently delivered into the recipient cells and recognized the endogenous targets. In addition, we also revealed that the CD9-HuR exosomes could enrich the functional miRNA inhibitor or CRISPR/dCas9 when the RNAs were engineered to have the AU rich elements. Taken together, we here have established a novel strategy for enhanced RNA cargo encapsulation into engineered exosomes, which in turn functions in the recipient cells.