Mitochondrial delivery of antisense RNA by MITO-Porter results in mitochondrial RNA knockdown, and has a functional impact on mitochondria.

PMID 25913255


Mitochondrial genome-targeting nucleic acids are promising therapeutic candidates for treating mitochondrial diseases. To date, a number of systems for delivering genetic information to the cytosol and the nucleus have been reported, and several successful gene therapies involving gene delivery targeted to the cytosol and the nucleus have been reported. However, much less progress has been made concerning mitochondrial gene delivery systems, and mitochondrial gene therapy has never been achieved. Here, we report on the mitochondrial delivery of an antisense RNA oligonucleotide (ASO) to perform mitochondrial RNA knockdown to regulate mitochondrial function. Mitochondrial delivery of the ASO was achieved using a combination of a MITO-Porter system, which contains mitochondrial fusogenic lipid envelopes for mitochondrial delivery via membrane fusion and D-arm, a mitochondrial import signal of tRNA to the matrix. Mitochondrial delivery of the ASO induces the knockdown of the targeted mitochondria-encoded mRNA and protein, namely cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, a component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Furthermore, the mitochondrial membrane potential was depolarized by the down regulation of the respiratory chain as the result of the mitochondrial delivery of ASO. This finding constitutes the first report to demonstrate that the nanocarrier-mediated mitochondrial genome targeting of antisense RNA effects mitochondrial function.