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Theranostic Applications of Functional Nucleic Acids

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 2836

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Xiangya School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Central South University, Changsha 410013, China
Interests: new drug development; nucleic acid aptamers; disease diagnosis; transdermal drug delivery; multifunctional nanocarriers; pathological mechanism of diseases
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Life Science and Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China
Interests: DNA nanotechnology; nanozymes; biointerfaces; gold nanoparticles; 2D nanomaterials; bioanalysis

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Guest Editor
College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410083, China
Interests: chemical and biological sensors; bioimaging; nanoparticle drug delivery system; bioanalytical chemistry; bionanotechnology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nucleic acids are important endogenous molecules in nature, which play critical roles in biological functions. With the progress in the field, various natural and artificial nucleic acids have been discovered as promising agents for diseases theranostics. For example, microRNA, siRNA, ceRNA, 16s rRNA, and lncRNA have been extensively studied as probe to explore the pathogenesis of the disease. Recently, the Crispr cas9 systems have attracted particular attention for gene therapy, while the delivery of mRNA is also attractive as vaccine for diseases prevention and treatment. Most of these functional nucleic acids are endogenous, which affect the body's physiological functions by regulating downstream protein signaling pathways and protein metabolites. Therefore, through meta-analysis and other means, the mechanism of action of such functional nucleic acids can be explored. On the other hand, many artificial nucleic acids, such aptamers and DNAzymes, have also been applied in multi-disciplinary fields. Aptamers are single-stranded nucleic acids that selectively bind to target molecules, while DNAzymes are catalytically active DNA molecules, and most of these molecules were obtained through a combinatorial selection process. Technological and scientific advances facilitate the isolation and characterizations of novel functional nucleic acids, allowing the development of multi-functional DNA-based platforms for disease theranostics. Despite significant efforts over the past 30 years, the clinical translation of functionals nucleic acids remains a challenge.

This Special Issue of Molecules will cover the major advancements of functional nucleic acids in disease theranostic applications. It will report on the isolation, characterization, and biological applications of functional nucleic acids, fundamental understanding the biological functions of the nucleic acids, the development of related biosensors for disease diagnosis, therapeutics for disease treatment, as well as well multifunctional nucleic acids for disease theranostics.

Prof. Dr. Wenhu Zhou
Prof. Dr. Biwu Liu
Dr. Yanjing Yang
Guest Editors


  • functional nucleic acids
  • biosensor
  • diagnosis
  • therapy

Published Papers (1 paper)

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17 pages, 5946 KiB  
LINC02532 Contributes to Radiosensitivity in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma through the miR-654-5p/YY1 Axis
by Xiaoguang Zhou, Bowen Zeng, Yansheng Li, Haozhou Wang and Xiaodong Zhang
Molecules 2021, 26(22), 7040; - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2078
Background: Studies have shown that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play essential roles in tumor progression and can affect the response to radiotherapy, including in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). LINC02532 has been found to be upregulated in ccRCC. However, not much is [...] Read more.
Background: Studies have shown that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play essential roles in tumor progression and can affect the response to radiotherapy, including in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). LINC02532 has been found to be upregulated in ccRCC. However, not much is known about this lncRNA. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the role of LINC02532 in ccRCC, especially in terms of radioresistance. Methods: Quantitative real-time PCR was used to detect the expression of LINC02532, miR-654-5p, and YY1 in ccRCC cells. Protein levels of YY1, cleaved PARP, and cleaved-Caspase-3 were detected by Western blotting. Cell survival fractions, viability, and apoptosis were determined by clonogenic survival assays, CCK-8 assays, and flow cytometry, respectively. The interplay among LINC02532, miR-654-5p, and YY1 was detected by chromatin immunoprecipitation and dual-luciferase reporter assays. In addition, in vivo xenograft models were established to investigate the effect of LINC02532 on ccRCC radioresistance in 10 nude mice. Results: LINC02532 was highly expressed in ccRCC cells and was upregulated in the cells after irradiation. Moreover, LINC02532 knockdown enhanced cell radiosensitivity both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, YY1 activated LINC02532 in ccRCC cells, and LINC02532 acted as a competing endogenous RNA that sponged miR-654-5p to regulate YY1 expression. Rescue experiments indicated that miR-654-5p overexpression or YY1 inhibition recovered ccRCC cell functions that had been previously impaired by LINC02532 overexpression. Conclusions: Our results revealed a positive feedback loop of LINC02532/miR-654-5p/YY1 in regulating the radiosensitivity of ccRCC, suggesting that LINC02532 might be a potential target for ccRCC radiotherapy. This study could serve as a foundation for further research on the role of LINC02532 in ccRCC and other cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theranostic Applications of Functional Nucleic Acids)
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