In vitro transcription and translation inhibition via DNA functionalized gold nanoparticles

João Conde, J. M. De La Fuente, Pedro Viana Baptista

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The use of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) has been gaining momentum as vectors for gene silencing strategies, combining the AuNPs' ease of functionalization with DNA and/or siRNA, high loading capacity and fast uptake by target cells. Here, we used AuNP functionalized with thiolated oligonucleotides to specifically inhibit transcription in vitro, demonstrating the synergetic effect between AuNPs and a specific antisense sequence that blocks the T7 promoter region. Also, AuNPs efficiently protect the antisense oligonucleotide against nuclease degradation, which can thus retain its inhibitory potential. In addition, we demonstrate that AuNPs functionalized with a thiolated oligonucleotide complementary to the ribosome binding site and the start codon, effectively shut down in vitro translation. Together, these two approaches can provide for a simple yet robust experimental set up to test for efficient gene silencing of AuNP-DNA conjugates. What is more, these results show that appropriate functionalization of AuNPs can be used as a dual targeting approach to an enhanced control of gene expression-inhibition of both transcription and translation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number505101
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2010


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