Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Asthma UK Clinical Chair



+44 (0)20 7594 3764s.johnston




Mr Christophe Tytgat +44 (0)20 7594 3849




343Norfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus






BibTex format

author = {Potaczek, DP and Unger, SD and Zhang, N and Taka, S and Michel, S and Akda, N and Lan, F and Helfer, M and Hudemann, C and Eickmann, M and Skevaki, C and Megremis, S and Sadewasser, A and Alashkar, Alhamwe B and Alhamdan, F and Akdis, M and Edwards, MR and Johnston, SL and Akdis, CA and Becker, S and Bachert, C and Papadopoulos, NG and Garn, H and Renz, H},
doi = {10.1016/j.jaci.2018.07.026},
journal = {J Allergy Clin Immunol},
title = {Development and characterization of DNAzyme candidates demonstrating significant efficiency against human rhinoviruses.},
url = {},
year = {2018}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - BACKGROUND: Infections with human rhinoviruses (RVs) are responsible for millions of common cold episodes and the majority of asthma exacerbations, especially in childhood. No drugs specifically targeting RVs are available. OBJECTIVE: We sought to identify specific anti-RV molecules based on DNAzyme technology as candidates to a clinical study. METHODS: A total of 226 candidate DNAzymes were designed against 2 regions of RV RNA genome identified to be sufficiently highly conserved between virus strains (ie, the 5'-untranslated region and cis-acting replication element) by using 3 test strains: RVA1, RVA16, and RVA29. All DNAzymes were screened for their cleavage efficiency against in vitro-expressed viral RNA. Those showing any catalytic activity were subjected to bioinformatic analysis of their reverse complementarity to 322 published RV genomic sequences. Further molecular optimization was conducted for the most promising candidates. Cytotoxic and off-target effects were excluded in HEK293 cell-based systems. Antiviral efficiency was analyzed in infected human bronchial BEAS-2B cells and ex vivo-cultured human sinonasal tissue. RESULTS: Screening phase-generated DNAzymes characterized by either good catalytic activity or by high RV strain coverage but no single molecule represented a satisfactory combination of those 2 features. Modifications in length of the binding domains of 2 lead candidates, Dua-01(-L12R9) and Dua-02(-L10R11), improved their cleavage efficiency to an excellent level, with no loss in eminent strain coverage (about 98%). Both DNAzymes showed highly favorable cytotoxic/off-target profiles. Subsequent testing of Dua-01-L12R9 in BEAS-2B cells and sinonasal tissue demonstrated its significant antiviral efficiency. CONCLUSIONS: Effective and specific management of RV infections with Dua-01-L12R9 might be useful in preventing asthma exacerbations, which should be verified by clinical trials.
AU - Potaczek,DP
AU - Unger,SD
AU - Zhang,N
AU - Taka,S
AU - Michel,S
AU - Akda,N
AU - Lan,F
AU - Helfer,M
AU - Hudemann,C
AU - Eickmann,M
AU - Skevaki,C
AU - Megremis,S
AU - Sadewasser,A
AU - Alashkar,Alhamwe B
AU - Alhamdan,F
AU - Akdis,M
AU - Edwards,MR
AU - Johnston,SL
AU - Akdis,CA
AU - Becker,S
AU - Bachert,C
AU - Papadopoulos,NG
AU - Garn,H
AU - Renz,H
DO - 10.1016/j.jaci.2018.07.026
PY - 2018///
TI - Development and characterization of DNAzyme candidates demonstrating significant efficiency against human rhinoviruses.
T2 - J Allergy Clin Immunol
UR -
UR -
ER -