Sequence- and target-independent angiogenesis suppression by siRNA via TLR3

Mark E. Kleinman, Kiyoshi Yamada, Atsunobu Takeda, Vasu Chandrasekaran, Miho Nozaki, Judit Z. Baffi, Romulo J.C. Albuquerque, Satoshi Yamasaki, Masahiro Itaya, Yuzhen Pan, Binoy Appukuttan, Daniel Gibbs, Zhenglin Yang, Katalin Karikó, Balamurali K. Ambati, Traci A. Wilgus, Luisa A. DiPietro, Eiji Sakurai, Kang Zhang, Justine R. SmithEthan W. Taylor, Jayakrishna Ambati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

819 Citations (Scopus)


Clinical trials of small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGFA) or its receptor VEGFR1 (also called FLT1), in patients with blinding choroidal neovascularization (CNV) from age-related macular degeneration, are premised on gene silencing by means of intracellular RNA interference (RNAi). We show instead that CNV inhibition is a siRNA-class effect: 21-nucleotide or longer siRNAs targeting non-mammalian genes, non-expressed genes, non-genomic sequences, pro- and anti-angiogenic genes, and RNAi-incompetent siRNAs all suppressed CNV in mice comparably to siRNAs targeting Vegfa or Vegfr1 without off-target RNAi or interferon-α/β activation. Non-targeted (against non-mammalian genes) and targeted (against Vegfa or Vegfr1) siRNA suppressed CNV via cell-surface toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), its adaptor TRIF, and induction of interferon-γ and interleukin-12. Non-targeted siRNA suppressed dermal neovascularization in mice as effectively as Vegfa siRNA. siRNA-induced inhibition of neovascularization required a minimum length of 21 nucleotides, a bridging necessity in a modelled 2:1 TLR3-RNA complex. Choroidal endothelial cells from people expressing the TLR3 coding variant 412FF were refractory to extracellular siRNA-induced cytotoxicity, facilitating individualized pharmacogenetic therapy. Multiple human endothelial cell types expressed surface TLR3, indicating that generic siRNAs might treat angiogenic disorders that affect 8% of the world's population, and that siRNAs might induce unanticipated vascular or immune effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-597
Number of pages7
Issue number7187
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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