The effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms in cancer rnai therapies

Academic Article


  • Tremendous progress in RNAi delivery methods and design has allowed for the effective development of siRNA-based therapeutics that are currently under clinical investigation for various cancer treatments. This approach has the potential to revolutionize cancer therapy by providing the ability to specifically downregulate or upregulate the mRNA of any protein of interest. This exquisite specificity, unfortunately, also has a downside. Genetic variations in the human population are common because of the presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs lead to synonymous and non-synonymous changes and they occur once in every 300 base pairs in both coding and non-coding regions in the human genome. Much less common are the somatic mosaicism variations associated with genetically distinct populations of cells within an individual that is derived from postzygotic mutations. These heterogeneities in the population can affect the RNAi’s efficacy or more problematically, which can lead to unpredictable and sometimes adverse side effects. From a more positive viewpoint, both SNPs and somatic mosaicisms have also been implicated in human diseases, including cancer, and these specific changes could offer the ability to effectively and, more importantly, selectively target the cancer cells. In this review, we discuss how SNPs in the human population can influence the development and success of novel anticancer RNAi therapies and the importance of why SNPs should be carefully considered.
  • Published In

  • Cancers  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gebert M; Jaśkiewicz M; Moszyńska A; Collawn JF; Bartoszewski R
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 20
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 11