Synthesis and delivery of short, noncoding RNA by B lymphocytes

Gonzalo Almanza, Veronika Anufreichik, Jeffrey J. Rodvold, Kevin T. Chiu, Alexandra DeLaney, Johnny C. Akers, Clark C. Chen, Maurizio Zanetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Evolutionarily conserved short (20-30 nucleotides) noncoding RNAs (microRNAs) are powerful regulators of gene expression in a variety of physiological and pathological processes. As such, means to efficiently modulate microRNA function constitute an important therapeutic opportunity. Here we demonstrate that primary B lymphocytes can be genetically programmed with nonviral plasmid DNA for the biogenesis and delivery of antisense sequences (anti-microRNA) against microRNA-150 (miR-150). Within 18 h of transfection with an anti-miR-150 construct, primary B lymphocytes secrete ∼3,000 copies of anti-miR-150 molecules per cell. Anti-miR-150 molecules released by B lymphocytes were internalized by CD8 T lymphocytes during cross-priming in vitro and in vivo, resulting in marked down-regulation of endogenous miR-150. However, such internalization was not observed in the absence of cross-priming. These results suggest that shuttling anti-miR-150 molecules from B lymphocytes to T cells requires the activation of receiver T cells via the antigen receptor. Finally, anti-miR-150 synthesized in B cells were secreted both as free and extracellular vesicle-associated fractions, but only extracellular vesicle-associated anti-miR-150 were apparently taken up by CD8 T cells. Collectively, these data indicate that primary B lymphocytes represent an efficient platform for the synthesis and delivery of short, noncoding RNA, paving the way for an approach to immunogenomic therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20182-20187
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 10 2013


  • Immunotherapy
  • Microvesicles


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