The team of Associate Professor Takeshi Shimosato successfully developed DNA calcium-based nanocapsules (DNanocap) with included/embedded DNA by establishing a cell transfection method using the carbonate apatite particles.

The DNanocap can deliver oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) to the intestinal tract without prior degradation by gastric juices or digestive enzymes. ODN is a chemosynthetic DNA fragment that is based on a microbially derived genome and DNA base sequences. The immune system can be either suppressed or enhanced by controlling these sequences.

The particle size was 50 to 200 nm measured by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Covered by the calcium component, the capsules can subsequently be delivered to the intestinal tract for absorption without a risk of degradation.

Professor Shimosato’s group has confirmed an anti-allergic effect in experiments on mice with atopic dermatitis via oral administration of DNA nanocapsules containing immune suppressing ODN for 70 days. By encapsulating immunity-enhancing ODN, this research may also be applicable for future use in infectious disease and cancer therapy.

Wang, Y., Yamamoto, Y., Shigemori, S., Watanabe, T., Oshiro, K., Wang, X., Wang, P., Sato, T., Yonekura, S., Tanaka, S., Kitazawa, H. & Shimosato, T. Inhibitory/Suppressive oligodeoxynucleotide nanocapsules as simple oral delivery devices for preventing atopic dermatitis in mice, Molecular Therapy, 23(2), 297-309, 2015. DOI:10.1038/mt.2014.239

Klinman DM. Therapeutic implications of orally delivered immunomodulatory oligonucleotides. Molecular Therapy, 23(2):222-223, 2015. DOI:10.1038/mt.2014.251