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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 610718, 10 pages
Research Article

Exploitation of a Very Small Peptide Nucleic Acid as a New Inhibitor of miR-509-3p Involved in the Regulation of Cystic Fibrosis Disease-Gene Expression

1Dipartimento di Medicina Molecolare e Biotecnologie Mediche, Via Pansini 5, 80131 Napoli, Italy
2CEINGE-Biotecnologie Avanzate, 80131 Napoli, Italy
3Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy
4Università Telematica Pegaso, 80143 Napoli, Italy

Received 6 December 2013; Accepted 18 March 2014; Published 15 April 2014

Academic Editor: Daniela De Stefano

Copyright © 2014 Felice Amato et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Computational techniques, and in particular molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, have been successfully used as a complementary technique to predict and analyse the structural behaviour of nucleic acids, including peptide nucleic acid- (PNA-) RNA hybrids. This study shows that a 7-base long PNA complementary to the seed region of miR-509-3p, one of the miRNAs involved in the posttranscriptional regulation of the CFTR disease-gene of Cystic Fibrosis, and bearing suitable functionalization at its N- and C-ends aimed at improving its resistance to nucleases and cellular uptake, is able to revert the expression of the luciferase gene containing the 3′UTR of the gene in A549 human lung cancer cells, in agreement with the MD results that pointed at the formation of a stable RNA/PNA heteroduplex notwithstanding the short sequence of the latter. The here reported results widen the interest towards the use of small PNAs as effective anti-miRNA agents.