Bioconjugation of oligonucleotides for treating liver fibrosis

Zhaoyang Ye, Houssam S.Hajj Houssein, Ram I. Mahato

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Liver fibrosis results from chronic liver injury due to hepatitis B and C, excessive alcohol ingestion, and metal ion overload. Fibrosis culminates in cirrhosis and results in liver failure. Therefore, a potent antifibrotic therapy is urgently needed to reverse scarring and eliminate progression to cirrhosis. Although activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) remain the principle cell type responsible for liver fibrosis, perivascular fibroblasts of portal and central veins as well as periductular fibroblasts are other sources of fibrogenic cells. This review will critically discuss various treatment strategies for liver fibrosis, including prevention of liver injury, reduction of inflammation, inhibition of HSC activation, degradation of scar matrix, and inhibition of aberrant collagen synthesis. Oligonucleotides (ODNs) are short, single-stranded nucleic acids, which disrupt expression of target protein by binding to complementary mRNA or forming triplex with genomic DNA. Triplex forming oligonucleotides (TFOs) provide an attractive strategy for treating liver fibrosis. A series of TFOs have been developed for inhibiting the transcription of α1(I) collagen gene, which opens a new area for antifibrotic drugs. There will be in-depth discussion on the use of TFOs and how different bioconjugation strategies can be utilized for their site-specific delivery to HSCs or hepatocytes for enhanced antifibrotic activities. Various insights developed in individual strategy and the need for multipronged approaches will also be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-404
Number of pages56
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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