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Naresh Mandava, Peter Blackburn, David B. Paul, Matthew W. Wilson, Susana B. Read, Eric Alspaugh, Richard Tritz, Jack R. Barber, Joan M. Robbins, Carol A. Kruse; Ribozyme to Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen to Treat Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(10):3338-3348.
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purpose. A DNA-RNA chimeric ribozyme was developed that targets the mRNA of a cell cycle regulatory protein, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). The hypothesis was that inhibition of PCNA, essential in DNA replication, would decrease the proliferation of cells that are involved in formation of granuloma after surgical procedures in the eye. The ability of intravitreous injection of this ribozyme to prevent or inhibit development of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) was tested in a dispase-induced rabbit PVR model.
methods. Rabbit genomic DNA encoding PCNA was cloned and sequenced. The cleavage of rabbit PCNA by the chimeric ribozyme was tested in vitro. Delivery of the ribozyme to rabbit retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) or fibroblast cells and its effects on proliferation of fibroblasts were examined. The stability of the ribozyme in vitreous fluid and serum was studied as well. In the dispase-induced rabbit model of PVR, the ability of the PCNA ribozyme to prevent or inhibit development of PVR and retinal detachment (RD) was tested. Experimental groups receiving intravitreous PCNA ribozyme, with or without a lipid vehicle, were compared with sham-treated control groups. Progression of PVR in rabbit eyes was followed by indirect ophthalmic examination and observations documented by fundoscopic photography, gross pathology, and histopathology.
results. The chimeric ribozyme targeted a specific sequence in the rabbit PCNA that was identical with that in the human. In vitro cleavage assays confirmed the ability of the ribozyme to cleave the mRNA of PCNA. The catalytic efficiency in vitro, calculated as k 2/K m app, was 0.26 μM−1 min−1. In vitro studies with fluoresceinated ribozyme indicated that lipid vehicles facilitated delivery of the ribozyme into cells causative of PVR (RPE and fibroblasts); however, the PCNA ribozyme decreased the proliferation of fibroblasts, with or without lipid vehicle. The ribozyme displayed good stability in vitreous fluid, whereas, it degraded quite rapidly in serum. In animal experiments, rabbits in sham-treated groups usually exhibited development of severe PVR characterized by focal traction or RD. Animals in the PCNA ribozyme–treated groups usually did not exhibit an RD. If they did have RD, it was small and localized, or focal tractions developed that did not progress to the degree that the sham-treated animal eyes did over the follow-up period. The in vivo use of a lipid delivery vehicle resulted in a precipitate; however, an effective naked ribozyme dose was identified that did not cause this side effect.
conclusions. In addition to validating the newly developed dispase PVR rabbit model, the results indicate that ribozyme targeted against the cell cycle agent PCNA is efficacious in the treatment or prevention of PVR in the rabbit eye. These experiments suggest that chimeric ribozyme targeted against PCNA may have a therapeutic or preventative role in humans.
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