Researchers recently developed a novel approach for programmable intracellular mRNA delivery through the use of a protein type.

According to a report, the study authors developed the said novel system using a family of mammalian proteins taken from ancient retroviral legacy genes.

The authors, led by Michael Segel and Feng Zhang said, this method has the potential to be expanded into a slightly immunogenic delivery platform with the potential to be recurrently dosed, which greatly extends the "applications for nucleic acid treatment."

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Science Times - Mammalian Retrovirus-Like Protein: This May Help Expand mRNA delivery; Potential Solution for Nucleic Acid Therapies
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Using the new method by engineering both mouse model and human Peg10 to package, conceal and deliver certain RNAs intracellularly.

Potential of Retrovirus-Like Proteins

As the COVID-19 vaccines have shown the power ad potential of the use of mRNA or messenger RNA in a range of clinical applications, nucleic acid therapies remain limited through the absence of vigorous delivery platforms that target particular types of cells; existing delivery of mRNA drugs has extensively been limited to intramuscular mRNA vaccine inoculation or liver-targeted lipid nanoparticles.

In their study, Mammalian retrovirus-like protein PEG10 packages its own mRNA. It can be pseudotyped for mRNA delivery, published in the Science journal; Segel and Zhang, together with their colleagues, have shown how mammalian retrovirus-like proteins can be used to enable intracellular delivery of mRNAs into specific molecules target cell populations.

All through evolution, retroelements which include retroviruses, have become incorporated into the mammalian genome. Whereas many of these components have lost their original use, some have been retooled to offer vital functions in mammalian physiology and development.

mRNA Cargo

A similar Mirage News report specified that a common feature of retroelements and retroviruses is the fundamental structural gene called "gag." These gene's mammalian homologs are known to form viral-like capsids and have mRNA transferred.

Essentially, Segel and the team identified various mammalian gag homologs, including Peg10, forming virus-like capsids that favorably bind with cells and facilitating the mRNA cargo's vesicular secretion.

Furthermore, this particular mRNA cargo can be reprogrammed by inserting genes of interest within the untranslated regions of Peg10.

Using this method, the study investigators developed Selective Endogenous eNcapsidation for cellular Delivery or SEND, by engineering both a mouse model and human Peg10 to package, conceal, and deliver certain RNAs intracellularly.

Nucleic Acid

The National Human Genome Research Institute describes nucleic acid as an essential macromolecule class in all viruses and cells. Its functions have to do with the gene information's storage and expression.

Meanwhile, deoxyribonucleic nucleic acid or DNA encodes the information the cell requires to generate and produce proteins. Ribonucleic acid or RNA, a related nucleic type, on the other hand, comes in different forms of molecules that take part in protein synthesis.

Essentially, the term nucleic acid is used to describe particular large molecules found in the cell. Therefore, they are made of polymers of strings of repeated units, and the two most prominent of the nucleic acids, as mentioned, are DNA and RNA.

The nucleic acids in the cell function for storing information. The cell then encodes information into nucleic acids, just like one recording details on a tape.

Therefore, these molecules' sequences in the polymer can deliver make a protein, replicate, and transfer to the nucleus.

This same report also specified that the other remarkable part about being a nucleic acid is that they are extremely stable proteins.

Related information about nucleic acids and DNA and RNA structures are shown on MEDSimplified's YouTube video below:


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