Ribozymes and siRNA for the treatment of diseases of the nervous system.
Wood MJ., Trülzsch B., Abdelgany A., Beeson D.
Recent advances in our understanding of RNA biology have focused attention on the potential of developing RNA-based strategies to treat human disease. Naturally occurring catalytic RNA molecules (ribozymes), their synthetic DNA counterparts (deoxyribozymes or DNAzymes), as well as the exciting, emerging technology of small interfering RNA which utilizes the highly conserved cellular RNA interference pathway, are being developed for therapeutic gene silencing purposes. The challenges for the application of this technology to neurological disease will be to identify appropriate disease targets, and to optimize the function, and particularly delivery of these RNA-based therapeutic molecules within the complex environment of the nervous system. This review will assess the potential of these RNA-based therapeutic strategies and the challenges ahead in their application to the treatment of neurological disease.