A novel chimeric ribozyme vector produces potent inhibition of ICAM-1 expression on ischemic vascular endothelium

Christopher J. Sonnenday, Daniel S. Warren, Sara K. Cooke, Harry C. Dietz, Robert A. Montgomery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Inhibition of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression can ameliorate the inflammation induced by ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) in animal models. However, current strategies to reduce ICAM-1 expression have been limited by the lack of stability, poor specificity, and the transient nature of synthesized regulatory molecules (antisense/ribozyme). Methods: A chimeric expression vector was generated by fusing a ribozyme targeting sequence against ICAM-1 to stabilizing stem-loop structures and nuclear localization signals that are components of endogenous U1 small nuclear RNA. Oligonucleotide scanning was used to predict accessible sites for targeting within the rat ICAM-1 transcript. Efficacy of the chimeric ribozyme vector was tested by transfection of rat aortic endothelial (RAE) cells (in vitro) and intraportal delivery in a rat hepatic IRI model (in vivo). Results: Transfection of RAE cells with the chimeric ribozyme vector produced potent and specific inhibition of ICAM-1 mRNA and protein levels by >65%. This reduction in ICAM-1 expression was accompanied by a proportional decrease in neutrophil adhesion to RAE cells. In vivo intraportal delivery of the chimeric targeting vector to rats sustaining hepatic IRI produced a marked reduction in ICAM-1 expression on liver endothelium after reperfusion. Conclusions: A chimeric ribozyme vector effectively inhibited ICAM-1 expression in vascular endothelial cells and in rat liver following IRI, demonstrating a novel gene targeting technique that may be ideally suited to clinical applications aimed at ameliorating IRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1394-1402
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gene Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Antisense oligonucleotides
  • Cell adhesion molecules
  • Gene targeting
  • Reperfusion injury
  • Vascular endothelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Drug Discovery
  • Genetics(clinical)


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