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United States Patent Application 20160257963
Kind Code A1
Yanni; John M. ;   et al. September 8, 2016

RNAi-MEDIATED INHIBITION OF SPLEEN TYROSINE KINASE-RELATED INFLAMMATORY CONDITIONS

Abstract

RNA interference is provided for inhibition of spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) mRNA expression, in particular, for treating patients having a Syk-related inflammatory condition or at risk of developing a Syk-related inflammatory condition such as allergic conjunctivitis, ocular inflammation, dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma, allergy, or mast-cell disease.


Inventors: Yanni; John M.; (Burleson, TX) ; Chatterton; Jon E.; (Fort Worth, TX) ; Gamache; Daniel A.; (Arlington, TX) ; Miller; Steven T.; (Arlington, TX)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Pasadena

CA

US
Family ID: 1000001947303
Appl. No.: 15/156430
Filed: May 17, 2016


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
14270174May 5, 20149371529
15156430
13172964Jun 30, 20118865671
14270174
12296621Oct 9, 20088048863
PCT/US2007/066619Apr 13, 2007
13172964
60791847Apr 13, 2006

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: C12N 15/1137 20130101; A61K 31/713 20130101; C12N 2310/531 20130101; C12N 2320/30 20130101; C12N 2310/14 20130101; A61K 31/7105 20130101
International Class: C12N 15/113 20060101 C12N015/113; A61K 31/7105 20060101 A61K031/7105; A61K 31/713 20060101 A61K031/713

Claims



1. A composition comprising an interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides, and comprising a region of at least 13 contiguous nucleotides having at least 90% sequence complementarity to, or at least 90% sequence identity with, the penultimate 13 nucleotides of the 3' end of any one of SEQ ID NO:44-47.

2. The composition of claim 1, wherein the interfering RNA comprises an shRNA, an siRNA, or an miRNA.

3. The composition of claim 1 wherein the interfering RNA has at least one 3' overhang.

4. The composition of claim 1 wherein the interfering RNA has at least one 5' overhang.

5. The composition of claim 1 wherein the interfering RNA has one or more chemically modified nucleotide.

6. The composition of claim 1 wherein the interfering RNA has one or more non-phosphodiester linkages.

7. The composition of claim 1 further comprising a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.

8. A method of attenuating expression of Syk mRNA of a subject, comprising: administering to the subject a composition comprising an effective amount of interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, wherein the interfering RNA comprises region of at least 13 contiguous nucleotides having at least 90% sequence complementarity to, or at least 90% sequence identity with, the penultimate 13 nucleotides of the 3' end of any one of SEQ ID NO:44-47, wherein the expression of Syk mRNA is attenuated thereby.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the interfering RNA comprises an shRNA, an siRNA, or an miRNA.

10. The method of claim 8 wherein the interfering RNA has at least one 3' overhang.

11. The method of claim 8 wherein the interfering RNA has at least one 5' overhang.

12. The method of claim 8 wherein the interfering RNA has one or more chemically modified nucleotide.

13. The method of claim 8 wherein the interfering RNA has one or more non-phosphodiester linkages.

14. The method of claim 8, wherein the composition is administered via an aerosol, buccal, dermal, intradermal, inhaling, intramuscular, intranasal, intraocular, intrapulmonary, intravenous, intraperitoneal, nasal, ocular, oral, otic, parenteral, patch, subcutaneous, sublingual, topical, or transdermal route.

15. A composition comprising an interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides, and comprising a sense nucleotide strand, an antisense nucleotide strand, and a region of at least near-perfect contiguous complementarity of at least 19 nucleotides; wherein the antisense strand hybridizes under physiological conditions to a portion of mRNA selected from the group consisting of mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO: 1 comprising nucleotide 642, 1009, 1273, or 1533.

16. The composition of claim 15, wherein the interfering RNA comprises an shRNA, an siRNA, or an miRNA.

17. The composition of claim 15 wherein the interfering RNA has at least one 3' and/or 5' overhang.

18. The composition of claim 15 wherein the interfering RNA has one or more chemically modified nucleotide.

19. The composition of claim 15 wherein the interfering RNA has one or more non-phosphodiester linkages.

20. The composition of claim 15 further comprising a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. ______, filed May 5, 2014, which is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 13/172,964 filed Jun. 30, 2011 and issued as U.S. Pat. No. 8,865,671, which is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 12/296,621 filed Oct. 9, 2008 and issued as U.S. Pat. No. 8,048,863, which is the National Stage of International Application Serial No.: PCT/US2007/066619 filed Apr. 13, 2007, which claims benefit to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/791,847 filed Apr. 13, 2006, the text of which is specifically incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to the field of interfering RNA compositions for silencing spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) and for treatment of a Syk-related inflammatory condition. Such conditions include allergic conjunctivitis, ocular inflammation, dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma, allergy, or mast-cell disease, for example.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Allergic conjunctivitis, ocular inflammation, dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma, allergy, and mast-cell disease have historically been treated with a regimen of oral, intranasal or topical antihistamines, or oral or intranasal steroids, or, in the case of allergy, allergen injection treatment. Systemic treatment typically requires higher concentrations of the drug compound to be administered to afford an effective concentration to reach the necessary treatment site. Antihistamine compounds are known to have central nervous system activity; drowsiness and drying of mucus membranes are a common side-effect of antihistamine use.

[0004] Signaling through immune receptors such as the IgE receptor (Fc.epsilon.RI) involves the recruitment and activation of multiple components of the signaling cascade, including the non-receptor tyrosine kinase, Syk. Syk activation leads to activation of the PLC.gamma. and PI3K pathways and ultimately to mast cell degranulation and activation. Targeting the Syk mRNA would reduce the levels of Syk protein and interrupt the Fc.epsilon.RI pathway. This action would interfere with the IgE mediated mast cell degranulation and release of histamine and other pro-inflammatory mediators.

[0005] Inhibition of allergic inflammation in the airways using aerosolized antisense to Syk kinase is reported by Stenton, G. R. et al., (J Immunol. 169:1028-1036 (2002)). Inhibition of Syk expression by means of small interfering RNA (siRNA) in a bronchial epithelial cell line HS-24 and in a rat model of ovalbumin (OA)-induced asthma reportedly inhibited the expression of hallmarks of induced inflammatory response (published international patent application WO 2005007623). Inhibition of expression of genes involved in IgE production using a short hairpin RNA targeting FC.epsilon.R1A and treatment of IgE-mediated diseases such as asthma and allergic rhinitis were reported in published international patent application WO 2005085443. None of these documents discloses the interfering RNAs of the present invention.

[0006] Additional agents and treatment methods would be desirable for targeting the Syk tyrosine kinase, thereby blocking the actions of endogenous mast cell degranulation, and release of histamine and other pro-inflammatory mediators while avoiding the side effects of systemic antihistamine treatment. Embodiments of the present invention address the need in the art for such agents and treatment methods.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] Embodiments of the present invention overcome these and other drawbacks of the prior art by providing highly potent and efficacious treatment, prevention or intervention of a Syk-related inflammatory condition. In one aspect, methods of the invention include treating a subject having a Syk-related inflammatory condition or at risk of developing a Syk-related inflammatory condition by administering interfering RNAs that silence expression of Syk mRNA, thus interfering with the PLC.gamma. and PI3K signaling pathways and preventing a cascade of events related to mast cell degranulation, and release of histamine and other pro-inflammatory mediators in a Syk-related inflammatory condition.

[0008] The present invention is directed to interfering RNAs that target Syk mRNA and thereby interfere with Syk mRNA expression. The interfering RNAs of the invention are useful for treating patients with a Syk-related condition or at risk of developing a Syk-related condition.

[0009] An embodiment of the invention is a method of attenuating expression of Syk mRNA of a subject, the method comprising administering to the subject a composition comprising an effective amount of interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. The expression of Syk mRNA is attenuated thereby.

[0010] Another embodiment of the invention is a method of treating a Syk-related inflammatory condition in a subject in need thereof. The method comprises administering to the subject a composition comprising an effective amount of interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. The Syk-related inflammatory condition is treated thereby. In one embodiment, the subject is a human and the human has a Syk-related inflammatory condition and, in another embodiment, the subject is a human and the human is at risk of developing a Syk-related inflammatory condition.

[0011] For the above cited embodiments, the interfering RNA comprises a region of at least 13 contiguous nucleotides having at least 90% sequence complementarity to, or at least 90% sequence identity with, the penultimate 13 nucleotides of the 3' end of an mRNA corresponding to any one of SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:13-SEQ ID NO:40, and SEQ ID NO:44-SEQ ID NO:47.

[0012] In further embodiments of the above-cited methods, the composition further comprises a second interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides and comprising a region of at least 13 contiguous nucleotides having at least 90% sequence complementarity to, or at least 90% sequence identity with, the penultimate 13 nucleotides of the 3' end of a second mRNA corresponding to any one of SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:13-SEQ ID NO:40, and SEQ ID NO:44-SEQ ID NO:47.

[0013] In yet another embodiment of the invention, a method of attenuating expression of Syk mRNA of a subject comprises administering to the subject a composition comprising an effective amount of interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier and the interfering RNA comprises a sense nucleotide strand, an antisense nucleotide strand, and a region of at least near-perfect contiguous complementarity of at least 19 nucleotides where the antisense strand hybridizes under physiological conditions to a portion of mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising nucleotide 642, 789, 791, 860, 861, 862, 867, 868, 1009, 1273, 1394, 1436, 1471, 1472, 1533, 1535, 1547, 1680, 1738, 1739, 1766, 1880, 1947, 2022, 2036, 2328, 2329, 2473, 2509, 2520, 2524, 2558, or 2613. The expression of Syk mRNA is attenuated thereby. In a further embodiment, the composition comprises an effective amount of interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides where the antisense strand hybridizes under physiological conditions to a portion of mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising nucleotide 1007, 1698, or 1769. In one embodiment, the antisense strand hybridizes to a portion of mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 beginning with nucleotide 1007, 1698, or 1769 and is 19 or 20 nucleotides long.

[0014] A method of treating a Syk-related inflammatory condition in a subject in need thereof is an embodiment of the invention, the method comprising administering to the subject a composition comprising an effective amount of interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, the interfering RNA comprising a sense nucleotide strand, an antisense nucleotide strand, and a region of at least near-perfect contiguous complementarity of at least 19 nucleotides; wherein the antisense strand hybridizes under physiological conditions to a portion of mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising nucleotide 642, 789, 791, 860, 861, 862, 867, 868, 1009, 1273, 1394, 1436, 1471, 1472, 1533, 1535, 1547, 1680, 1738, 1739, 1766, 1880, 1947, 2022, 2036, 2328, 2329, 2473, 2509, 2520, 2524, 2558, or 2613. The Syk-related inflammatory condition is treated thereby. In a further embodiment, the composition comprises an effective amount of interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides where the antisense strand hybridizes under physiological conditions to a portion of mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising nucleotide 1007, 1698, or 1769. In one embodiment, the antisense strand hybridizes to a portion of mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 beginning with nucleotide 1007, 1698, or 1769 and is 19 or 20 nucleotides long.

[0015] A second interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides could also be administered to the subject; the second interfering RNA comprising a sense nucleotide strand, an antisense nucleotide strand, and a region of at least near-perfect complementarity of at least 19 nucleotides wherein the antisense strand of the second interfering RNA hybridizes under physiological conditions to a second portion of mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising nucleotide 642, 789, 791, 860, 861, 862, 867, 868, 1009, 1273, 1394, 1436, 1471, 1472, 1533, 1535, 1547, 1680, 1738, 1739, 1766, 1880, 1947, 2022, 2036, 2328, 2329, 2473, 2509, 2520, 2524, 2558, or 2613. A second interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides could be administered to the subject, where the antisense strand hybridizes under physiological conditions to a portion of mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising nucleotide 1007, 1698, or 1769. In one embodiment, the antisense strand hybridizes to a portion of mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 beginning with nucleotide 1007, 1698, or 1769 and is 19 or 20 nucleotides long.

[0016] A method of attenuating expression of Syk mRNA of a subject, comprising administering to the subject a composition comprising an effective amount of a single-stranded interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, where the single-stranded interfering RNA hybridizes under physiological conditions to a portion of mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising the nucleotides identified above is a further embodiment of the invention.

[0017] The invention includes as a further embodiment a composition comprising an interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides, and comprising a nucleotide sequence corresponding to any one of SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:13-SEQ ID NO:40, and SEQ ID NO:44-SEQ ID NO:47, or a complement thereof; and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. A composition comprising an interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides, and comprising a nucleotide sequence corresponding to any one of SEQ ID NO:41-SEQ ID NO:47, or a complement thereof; and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier is a further embodiment of the invention.

[0018] A method of treating ocular inflammation or conjunctivitis in a subject in need thereof is an embodiment of the invention. The method comprises administering to the subject a composition comprising a double stranded siRNA molecule that down regulates expression of a Syk gene via RNA interference, wherein each strand of the siRNA molecule is independently about 19 to about 27 nucleotides in length; and one strand of the siRNA molecule comprises a nucleotide sequence having substantial complementarity to an mRNA corresponding to the Syk gene so that the siRNA molecule directs cleavage of the mRNA via RNA interference. In a further embodiment of this method, each strand of the siRNA molecule is independently about 19 nucleotides to about 25 nucleotides in length, or about 19 nucleotides to about 21 nucleotides in length.

[0019] Use of any of the embodiments as described herein in the preparation of a medicament for attenuating expression of Syk mRNA as set forth herein is also an embodiment of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0020] FIG. 1 provides an SYK western blot of 293FT cells transfected with SYK siRNAs #2, #5, #6, and #8, and a RISC-free control siRNA, each at 10 nM, 1 nM, and 0.1 nM; a non-targeting control siRNA (NTC2) at 10 nM; and a buffer control (-siRNA). The arrows indicate the positions of the 72-kDa SYK and 42-kDa actin bands.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0021] The references cited herein, to the extent that they provide exemplary procedural or other details supplementary to those set forth herein, are specifically incorporated by reference.

[0022] Those of skill in the art, in light of the present disclosure, will appreciate that obvious modifications of the embodiments disclosed herein can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. All of the embodiments disclosed herein can be made and executed without undue experimentation in light of the present disclosure. The full scope of the invention is set out in the disclosure and equivalent embodiments thereof. The specification should not be construed to unduly narrow the full scope of protection to which the present invention is entitled.

[0023] As used herein and unless otherwise indicated, the terms "a" and "an" are taken to mean "one", "at least one" or "one or more".

[0024] The term "a Syk-related inflammatory condition" as used herein, includes histamine and other pro-inflammatory mediated responses involved in conditions such as allergic conjunctivitis, ocular inflammation, dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma, allergy, and mast-cell disease, and includes those cellular changes resulting from the expression of Syk-mRNA that lead directly or indirectly to the Syk-related inflammatory condition. The interfering RNA provided herein provides for such silencing while avoiding undesirable side effects due to nonspecific agents.

[0025] The term "allergic conjunctivitis," as used herein, refers to inflammation of the conjunctiva which is the delicate membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the exposed surface of the sclera. The term "allergic conjunctivitis" includes, for example, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, giant papillary conjunctivitis, hay fever conjunctivitis, perennial allergic conjunctivitis, and vernal keratoconjunctivitis.

[0026] The term "dermatitis," as used herein, refers to inflammation of the skin and includes, for example, allergic contact dermatitis, asteatotic dermatitis (dry skin on the lower legs), atopic dermatitis, cercarial dermatitis, contact dermatitis including irritant contact dermatitis and urushiol-induced contact dermatitis, dermatitis herpetiformis, dyshidrotic dermatitis, eczema, gravitational dermatitis, infective dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, otitis externa, perioral dermatitis, Pseudomonas dermatitis (hot tub rash), and seborrhoeic dermatitis.

[0027] The term "rhinitis," as used herein, refers to inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose and includes, for example, allergic rhinitis, atopic rhinitis, infectious rhinitis, irritant rhinitis, eosinophilic non-allergic rhinitis, rhinitis medicamentosa, and neutrophilic rhinosinusitis.

[0028] The term "asthma," as used herein, refers to inflammation of the air passages resulting in narrowing of the airways that transport air from the nose and mouth to the lungs and includes, for example, allergic asthma, atopic asthma, atopic bronchial IgE-mediated asthma, bronchial asthma, bronchiolytis, emphysematous asthma, essential asthma, exercise-induced asthma, extrinsic asthma caused by environmental factors, incipient asthma, intrinsic asthma caused by pathophysiologic disturbances, non-allergic asthma, non-atopic asthma, and wheezy infant syndrome.

[0029] The term "allergy," as used herein, refers to an abnormal reaction of the immune system to a substance that is usually not harmful and includes, for example, skin allergies such as atopic dermatitis, hives, and angioedema; respiratory allergies such as allergic rhinitis, and reactions to dust or mold; food allergies such as reactions to proteins in cow's milk, egg whites, peanuts, wheat, soybeans, berries, shellfish, corn, beans, yellow food dye No. 5 and gum arabic; drug allergies such as reactions to penicillin, sulfas, barbiturates, anticonvulsants, insulin, local anesthetics and contrast agents; and insect bite allergies such as reactions to venom in stings of bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants.

[0030] The term "mast-cell disease," as used herein, refers to systemic mastocytosis which is characterized by mast cell accumulation in tissues. Such accumulation can affect organs such as bone marrow, skin, the GI tract, the liver, and the spleen. Physicians diagnose systemic mastocytosis by finding mast cells in parts of the body other than the skin and generally treat with antihistamines.

[0031] The phrase "a region of at least 13 contiguous nucleotides having at least 90% sequence complementarity to, or at least 90% sequence identity with, the penultimate 13 nucleotides of the 3' end of an mRNA corresponding to any one of (a sequence identifier)" allows a one nucleotide substitution. Two nucleotide substitutions (i.e., 11/13=85% identity/complementarity) are not included in such a phrase.

[0032] "Hybridization" refers to a process in which single-stranded nucleic acids with complementary or near-complementary base sequences interact to form hydrogen-bonded complexes called hybrids. Hybridization reactions are sensitive and selective. In vitro, the specificity of hybridization (i.e., stringency) is controlled by the concentrations of salt or formamide in prehybridization and hybridization solutions, for example, and by the hybridization temperature; such procedures are well known in the art. In particular, stringency is increased by reducing the concentration of salt, increasing the concentration of formamide, or raising the hybridization temperature.

[0033] As used herein, the term "percent identity" describes the percentage of contiguous nucleotides in a first nucleic acid molecule that is the same as in a set of contiguous nucleotides of the same length in a second nucleic acid molecule. The term "percent complementarity" describes the percentage of contiguous nucleotides in a first nucleic acid molecule that can base pair in the Watson-Crick sense with a set of contiguous nucleotides in a second nucleic acid molecule.

[0034] Attenuating Expression of an mRNA:

[0035] The phrase, "attenuating expression of an mRNA," as used herein, means administering or expressing an amount of interfering RNA (e.g., an siRNA) to reduce translation of the target mRNA into protein, either through mRNA cleavage or through direct inhibition of translation. The reduction in expression of the target mRNA or the corresponding protein is commonly referred to as "knock-down" and is reported relative to levels present following administration or expression of a non-targeting control RNA (e.g., a non-targeting control siRNA). Knock-down of expression of an amount including and between 50% and 100% is contemplated by embodiments herein. However, it is not necessary that such knock-down levels be achieved for purposes of the present invention. In one embodiment, a single interfering RNA targeting Syk mRNA is administered. In other embodiments, two or more interfering RNAs targeting Syk mRNA are administered.

[0036] "Hybridization" refers to a process in which single-stranded nucleic acids with complementary or near-complementary base sequences interact to form hydrogen-bonded complexes called hybrids. Hybridization reactions are sensitive and selective. In vitro, the specificity of hybridization (i.e., stringency) is controlled by the concentrations of salt or formamide in prehybridization and hybridization solutions, for example, and by the hybridization temperature; such procedures are well known in the art. In particular, stringency is increased by reducing the concentration of salt, increasing the concentration of formamide, or raising the hybridization temperature.

[0037] For example, high stringency conditions could occur at about 50% formamide at 37.degree. C. to 42.degree. C. Reduced stringency conditions could occur at about 35% to 25% formamide at 30.degree. C. to 35.degree. C. Examples of stringency conditions for hybridization are provided in Sambrook, J., 1989, Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. Further examples of stringent hybridization conditions include 400 mM NaCl, 40 mM PIPES pH 6.4, 1 mM EDTA, 50.degree. C. or 70.degree. C. for 12-16 hours followed by washing, or hybridization at 70.degree. C. in 1.times.SSC or 50.degree. C. in 1.times.SSC, 50% formamide followed by washing at 70.degree. C. in 0.3.times.SSC, or hybridization at 70.degree. C. in 4.times.SSC or 50.degree. C. in 4.times.SSC, 50% formamide followed by washing at 67.degree. C. in 1.times.SSC. The temperature for hybridization is about 5-10.degree. C. less than the melting temperature (T.sub.m) of the hybrid where T.sub.m is determined for hybrids between 19 and 49 base pairs in length using the following calculation: T.sub.m .degree. C.=81.5+16.6(log.sub.10[Na+])+0.41 (% G+C)-(600/N) where N is the number of bases in the hybrid, and [Na+] is the concentration of sodium ions in the hybridization buffer.

[0038] Knock-down is commonly assessed by measuring the mRNA levels using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) amplification or by measuring protein levels by western blot or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Analyzing the protein level provides an assessment of both mRNA cleavage as well as translation inhibition. Further techniques for measuring knock-down include RNA solution hybridization, nuclease protection, northern hybridization, gene expression monitoring with a microarray, antibody binding, radioimmunoassay, and fluorescence activated cell analysis.

[0039] RNA interference (RNAi) is a process by which double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is used to silence gene expression. While not wanting to be bound by theory, RNAi begins with the cleavage of longer dsRNAs into small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) by an RNaseIII-like enzyme, dicer. SiRNAs are dsRNAs that are usually about 19 to 28 nucleotides, or 20 to 25 nucleotides, or 21 to 22 nucleotides in length and often contain 2-nucleotide 3' overhangs, and 5' phosphate and 3' hydroxyl termini. One strand of the siRNA is incorporated into a ribonucleoprotein complex known as the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). RISC uses this siRNA strand to identify mRNA molecules that are at least partially complementary to the incorporated siRNA strand, and then cleaves these target mRNAs or inhibits their translation. Therefore, the siRNA strand that is incorporated into RISC is known as the guide strand or the antisense strand. The other siRNA strand, known as the passenger strand or the sense strand, is eliminated from the siRNA and is at least partially homologous to the target mRNA. Those of skill in the art will recognize that, in principle, either strand of an siRNA can be incorporated into RISC and function as a guide strand. However, siRNA design (e.g., decreased siRNA duplex stability at the 5' end of the antisense strand) can favor incorporation of the antisense strand into RISC.

[0040] RISC-mediated cleavage of mRNAs having a sequence at least partially complementary to the guide strand leads to a decrease in the steady state level of that mRNA and of the corresponding protein encoded by this mRNA. Alternatively, RISC can also decrease expression of the corresponding protein via translational repression without cleavage of the target mRNA. Other RNA molecules and RNA-like molecules can also interact with RISC and silence gene expression. Examples of other RNA molecules that can interact with RISC include short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs), single-stranded siRNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs), and dicer-substrate 27-mer duplexes. The term "siRNA" as used herein refers to a double-stranded interfering RNA unless otherwise noted. Examples of RNA-like molecules that can interact with RISC include RNA molecules containing one or more chemically modified nucleotides, one or more deoxyribonucleotides, and/or one or more non-phosphodiester linkages. For purposes of the present discussion, all RNA or RNA-like molecules that can interact with RISC and participate in RISC-mediated changes in gene expression will be referred to as "interfering RNAs." SiRNAs, shRNAs, miRNAs, and dicer-substrate 27-mer duplexes are, therefore, subsets of "interfering RNAs."

[0041] Interfering RNA of embodiments of the invention appear to act in a catalytic manner for cleavage of target mRNA, i.e., interfering RNA is able to effect inhibition of target mRNA in substoichiometric amounts. As compared to antisense therapies, significantly less interfering RNA is required to provide a therapeutic effect under such cleavage conditions.

[0042] The present invention relates to the use of interfering RNA to inhibit the expression of Syk mRNA, a non-receptor tyrosine kinase. Signaling through immune receptors such as the IgE receptor (Fc.epsilon.RI) involves the recruitment and activation of multiple components of the signaling cascade, including Syk. Syk activation leads to activation of the PLC.gamma. and PI3K pathways and ultimately to mast cell degranulation and activation. Targeting the Syk mRNA as provided herein reduces the level of Syk protein and interrupts the Fc.epsilon.RI pathway. This action interferes with the IgE mediated mast cell degranulation and release of histamine and other pro-inflammatory mediators. According to the present invention, interfering RNAs provided exogenously or expressed endogenously are particularly effective at silencing Syk mRNA.

[0043] Nucleic acid sequences cited herein are written in a 5' to 3' direction unless indicated otherwise. The term "nucleic acid," as used herein, refers to either DNA or RNA or a modified form thereof comprising the purine or pyrimidine bases present in DNA (adenine "A," cytosine "C," guanine "G," thymine "T") or in RNA (adenine "A," cytosine "C," guanine "G," uracil "U"). Interfering RNAs provided herein may comprise "T" bases, particularly at 3' ends, even though "T" bases do not naturally occur in RNA. "Nucleic acid" includes the terms "oligonucleotide" and "polynucleotide" and can refer to a single-stranded molecule or a double-stranded molecule. A double-stranded molecule is formed by Watson-Crick base pairing between A and T bases, C and G bases, and between A and U bases. The strands of a double-stranded molecule may have partial, substantial or full complementarity to each other and will form a duplex hybrid, the strength of bonding of which is dependent upon the nature and degree of complementarity of the sequence of bases.

[0044] An mRNA sequence is readily deduced from the sequence of the corresponding DNA sequence. For example, SEQ ID NO:1 provides the sense strand sequence of DNA corresponding to the mRNA for Syk. The mRNA sequence is identical to the DNA sense strand sequence with the "T" bases replaced with "U" bases. Therefore, the mRNA sequence of Syk is known from SEQ ID NO:1.

[0045] Spleen Tyrosine Kinase (Syk) mRNA:

[0046] The GenBank database provides the DNA sequence for Syk as accession no. NM_003177, provided in the "Sequence Listing" as SEQ ID NO:1. SEQ ID NO:1 provides the sense strand sequence of DNA that corresponds to the mRNA encoding Syk (with the exception of "T" bases for "U" bases). The coding sequence for Syk is from nucleotides 148-2055.

[0047] Equivalents of the above cited Syk mRNA sequence are alternative splice forms, allelic forms, isozymes, or a cognate thereof. A cognate is a spleen tyrosine kinase mRNA from another mammalian species that is homologous to SEQ ID NO:1 (i.e., an ortholog). Syk nucleic acid sequences related to SEQ ID NO:1 include those having GenBank accession numbers BC001645, BC002962, L28824, X73568, BC011399, and Z29630.

[0048] Inhibition of Syk may also be determined in vitro by monitoring histamine release in immunologically-challenged mast cells as follows. Mono-dispersed human mast cell preparations release pro-inflammatory mediators upon immunological activation. The degree of activation is determined by quantification of histamine released into culture supernatant upon stimulation of the cells with antigen or anti-human IgE. (See Miller et al. Ocular Immunol Inflamm. 4:39-49, 2006). Immunological challenge of mast cells transfected with interfering RNA targeting Syk results in significantly less histamine release than observed with immunological challenge of non-transfected mast cells or mast cells transfected with a non-targeting control interfering RNA.

[0049] The inhibition of Syk may also be determined by examining IgE mediated release of histamine in vitro using human conjunctival tissue mast cells or in LAD2 mast cells. Human conjunctival tissue mast cells are obtained using the methodology outlined in U.S. Pat. No. 5,360,720, for example. LAD2 mast cells are licensed from the Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. (Leuk Res. 2003 Aug. 27(8):677-82). Briefly, human conjunctival tissue mast cells are enzymatically released from human conjunctival tissues and then partially enriched by density centrifugation over a PERCOLL.RTM. cushion. A monodispersed cell suspension is obtained from the resulting pellet, and these cells are used for a histamine release assay. Cells are transfected with a Syk interfering RNA or a control interfering RNA 72 h prior to anti-human IgE stimulation, which triggers mast cell degranulation and histamine release to the supernatant. Histamine is then measured in the supernatant by RIA (Beckman Coulter), EIA (Beckman Coulter) or other method known to one of skill in the art. A decrease in histamine release in Syk interfering RNA transfected cells relative to control transfected cells or non-transfected cells indicates that an interfering RNA is effective at attenuating Syk and interrupting the FceRI signaling pathway.

[0050] The LAD2 mast cell line is used in much the same way with the exception that the cells are passively sensitized with human IgE myeloma prior to stimulation with anti-human IgE to cross-link receptor bound IgE and trigger degranulation.

[0051] Inhibition of Syk is also inferred in a human or mammal by observing an improvement in a Syk-related condition symptom such as improvement in symptoms related to allergic conjunctivitis, ocular inflammation, dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma, allergy, or mast-cell disease. Improvement in any of edema, itching, inflammation, or tolerance to environmental challenges, for example, is indicative of inhibition of Syk.

[0052] Interfering RNA:

[0053] In one embodiment of the invention, interfering RNA (e.g., siRNA) has a sense strand and an antisense strand, and the sense and antisense strands comprise a region of at least near-perfect contiguous complementarity of at least 19 nucleotides. In a further embodiment of the invention, interfering RNA (e.g., siRNA) has a sense strand and an antisense strand, and the antisense strand comprises a region of at least near-perfect contiguous complementarity of at least 19 nucleotides to a target sequence of Syk mRNA, and the sense strand comprises a region of at least near-perfect contiguous identity of at least 19 nucleotides with a target sequence of Syk mRNA. In a further embodiment of the invention, the interfering RNA comprises a region of at least 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18 contiguous nucleotides having percentages of sequence complementarity to or, having percentages of sequence identity with, the penultimate 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18 nucleotides, respectively, of the 3' end of the corresponding target sequence within an mRNA.

[0054] The length of each strand of the interfering RNA comprises 19 to 49 nucleotides, and may comprise a length of 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, or 49 nucleotides.

[0055] The antisense strand of an siRNA is the active guiding agent of the siRNA in that the antisense strand is incorporated into RISC, thus allowing RISC to identify target mRNAs with at least partial complementarity to the antisense siRNA strand for cleavage or translational repression.

[0056] In embodiments of the present invention, interfering RNA target sequences (e.g., siRNA target sequences) within a target mRNA sequence are selected using available design tools. Interfering RNAs corresponding to a Syk target sequence are then tested by transfection of cells expressing the target mRNA followed by assessment of knockdown as described above.

[0057] Techniques for selecting target sequences for siRNAs are provided by Tuschl, T. et al., "The siRNA User Guide," revised May 6, 2004, available on the Rockefeller University web site; by Technical Bulletin #506, "siRNA Design Guidelines," Ambion Inc. at Ambion's web site; and by other web-based design tools at, for example, the Invitrogen, Dharmacon, Integrated DNA Technologies, Genscript, or Proligo web sites. Initial search parameters can include G/C contents between 35% and 55% and siRNA lengths between 19 and 27 nucleotides. The target sequence may be located in the coding region or in the 5' or 3' untranslated regions of the mRNAs.

[0058] An embodiment of a 19-nucleotide DNA target sequence for Syk mRNA is present at nucleotides 789 to 807 of SEQ ID NO:1:

TABLE-US-00001 SEQ ID NO: 2 5'- GCACTATCGCATCGACAAA -3'.

[0059] An siRNA of the invention for targeting a corresponding mRNA sequence of SEQ ID NO:2 and having 21-nucleotide strands and a 2-nucleotide 3' overhang is:

TABLE-US-00002 SEQ ID NO: 3 5'- GCACUAUCGCAUCGACAAANN -3' SEQ ID NO: 4 3' -NNCGUGAUAGCGUAGCUGUUU -5'.

[0060] Each "N" residue can be any nucleotide (A, C, G, U, T) or modified nucleotide. The 3' end can have a number of "N" residues between and including 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The "N" residues on either strand can be the same residue (e.g., UU, AA, CC, GG, or TT) or they can be different (e.g., AC, AG, AU, CA, CG, CU, GA, GC, GU, UA, UC, or UG). The 3' overhangs can be the same or they can be different. In one embodiment, both strands have a 3'UU overhang.

[0061] An siRNA of the invention for targeting a corresponding mRNA sequence of SEQ ID NO:2 and having 21-nucleotide strands and a 3'UU overhang on each strand is:

TABLE-US-00003 SEQ ID NO: 5 5'- GCACUAUCGCAUCGACAAAUU -3' SEQ ID NO: 6 3'- UUCGUGAUAGCGUAGCUGUUU -5'.

[0062] The interfering RNA may also have a 5' overhang of nucleotides or it may have blunt ends. An siRNA of the invention for targeting a corresponding mRNA sequence of SEQ ID NO:2 and having 19-nucleotide strands and blunt ends is:

TABLE-US-00004 SEQ ID NO: 7 5'- GCACUAUCGCAUCGACAAA-3' SEQ ID NO: 8 3'- CGUGAUAGCGUAGCUGUUU-5'.

[0063] The strands of a double-stranded interfering RNA (e.g., an siRNA) may be connected to form a hairpin or stem-loop structure (e.g., an shRNA). An shRNA of the invention targeting a corresponding mRNA sequence of SEQ ID NO:2 and having a 19 bp double-stranded stem region and a 3'UU overhang is:

##STR00001##

[0064] N is a nucleotide A, T, C, G, U, or a modified form known by one of ordinary skill in the art. The number of nucleotides N in the loop is a number between and including 3 to 23, or 5 to 15, or 7 to 13, or 4 to 9, or 9 to 11, or the number of nucleotides N is 9. Some of the nucleotides in the loop can be involved in base-pair interactions with other nucleotides in the loop. Examples of oligonucleotide sequences that can be used to form the loop include 5'-UUCAAGAGA-3' (Brummelkamp, T. R. et al. (2002) Science 296: 550) and 5'-UUUGUGUAG-3' (Castanotto, D. et al. (2002) RNA 8:1454). It will be recognized by one of skill in the art that the resulting single chain oligonucleotide forms a stem-loop or hairpin structure comprising a double-stranded region capable of interacting with the RNAi machinery.

[0065] The siRNA target sequence identified above can be extended at the 3' end to facilitate the design of dicer-substrate 27-mer duplexes. Extension of the 19-nucleotide DNA target sequence (SEQ ID NO:2) identified in the Syk DNA sequence (SEQ ID NO:1) by 6 nucleotides yields a 25-nucleotide DNA target sequence present at nucleotides 789 to 813 of SEQ ID NO:1:

TABLE-US-00005 SEQ ID NO: 10 5'- GCACTATCGCATCGACAAAGACAAG-3'.

[0066] A dicer-substrate 27-mer duplex of the invention for targeting a corresponding mRNA sequence of SEQ ID NO:10 is:

TABLE-US-00006 SEQ ID NO: 11 5'- GCACUAUCGCAUCGACAAAGACAAG -3' SEQ ID NO: 12 3'- UUCGUGAUAGCGUAGCUGUUUCUGUUC -5'.

[0067] The two nucleotides at the 3' end of the sense strand (i.e., the AG nucleotides of SEQ ID NO:11) may be deoxynucleotides for enhanced processing. Design of dicer-substrate 27-mer duplexes from 19-21 nucleotide target sequences, such as provided herein, is further discussed by the Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) website and by Kim, D.-H. et al., (February, 2005) Nature Biotechnology 23:2; 222-226.

[0068] When interfering RNAs are produced by chemical synthesis, phosphorylation at the 5' position of the nucleotide at the 5' end of one or both strands (when present) can enhance siRNA efficacy and specificity of the bound RISC complex but is not required since phosphorylation can occur intracellularly.

[0069] Also disclosed herein is a method of attenuating expression of Syk mRNA of a subject, comprising: [0070] administering to the subject a composition comprising an effective amount of interfering RNA (iRNA) having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, the interfering RNA comprising a region selected from the group consisting of: [0071] a region of at least 13 contiguous nucleotides having at least 90% sequence complementarity to, or at least 90% sequence identity with, the penultimate 13 nucleotides of the 3' end of an mRNA corresponding to any one of SEQ ID NO:2 and SEQ ID NO:13-SEQ ID NO:40; [0072] a region of at least 14 contiguous nucleotides having at least 85% sequence complementarity to, or at least 85% sequence identity with, the penultimate 14 nucleotides of the 3' end of an mRNA corresponding to any one of SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:13-SEQ ID NO:40, and SEQ ID NO:44-SEQ ID NO:47; and, [0073] a region of at least 15, 16, 17, or 18 contiguous nucleotides having at least 80% sequence complementarity to, or at least 80% sequence identity with, the penultimate 15, 16, 17, or 18 nucleotides, respectively, of the 3' end of an mRNA corresponding to any one of SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:13-SEQ ID NO:40, and SEQ ID NO:44-SEQ ID NO:47, wherein the expression of Syk mRNA is attenuated thereby.

[0074] Also disclosed is a method of treating a Syk-related inflammatory condition in a subject in need thereof, comprising: [0075] administering to the subject a composition comprising an effective amount of interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, wherein [0076] the interfering RNA comprises a region selected from the group consisting of [0077] a region of at least 13 contiguous nucleotides having at least 90% sequence complementarity to, or at least 90% sequence identity with, the penultimate 13 nucleotides of the 3' end of an mRNA corresponding to any one of SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:13-SEQ ID NO:40, and SEQ ID NO:44-SEQ ID NO:47; [0078] a region of at least 14 contiguous nucleotides having at least 85% sequence complementarity to, or at least 85% sequence identity with, the penultimate 14 nucleotides of the 3' end of an mRNA corresponding to any one of SEQ ID NO:2 and SEQ ID NO:13-SEQ ID NO:40; and, [0079] a region of at least 15, 16, 17, or 18 contiguous nucleotides having at least 80% sequence complementarity to, or at least 80% sequence identity with, the penultimate 15, 16, 17, or 18 nucleotides, respectively, of the 3' end of an mRNA corresponding to any one of SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:13-SEQ ID NO:40, and SEQ ID NO:44-SEQ ID NO:47, wherein the Syk-related inflammatory condition is treated thereby.

[0080] Further embodiments comprise a method of attenuating expression of Syk mRNA of a subject, comprising: [0081] administering to the subject a composition comprising an effective amount of interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, the interfering RNA comprising: [0082] a sense nucleotide strand, an antisense nucleotide strand, and a region of at least near-perfect contiguous complementarity of at least 19 nucleotides; [0083] wherein the antisense strand hybridizes under physiological conditions to a portion of mRNA selected from the group consisting of [0084] mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising nucleotide 642, 789, 791, 860, 861, 862, 867, 868, 1009, 1273, 1394, 1436, 1471, 1472, 1533, 1535, 1547, 1680, 1738, 1739, 1766, 1880, 1947, 2022, 2036, 2328, 2329, 2473, 2509, 2520, 2524, 2558, or 2613, and, [0085] mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising nucleotide 1007, 1698, or 1769, [0086] wherein the expression of Syk mRNA is attenuated thereby.

[0087] Also disclosed herein are methods of treating a Syk-related inflammatory condition in a subject in need thereof, comprising: [0088] administering to the subject a composition comprising an effective amount of interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, the interfering RNA comprising a sense nucleotide strand, an antisense nucleotide strand, and a region of at least near-perfect contiguous complementarity of at least 19 nucleotides; [0089] wherein the antisense strand hybridizes under physiological conditions to a portion of mRNA selected from the group consisting of [0090] mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising nucleotide 642, 789, 791, 860, 861, 862, 867, 868, 1009, 1273, 1394, 1436, 1471, 1472, 1533, 1535, 1547, 1680, 1738, 1739, 1766, 1880, 1947, 2022, 2036, 2328, 2329, 2473, 2509, 2520, 2524, 2558, or 2613, and, [0091] mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising nucleotide 1007, 1698, or 1769, [0092] wherein the Syk-related inflammatory condition is treated thereby.

[0093] Further embodiments comprise a method of attenuating expression of Syk mRNA of a subject, comprising: [0094] administering to the subject a composition comprising an effective amount of a single-stranded interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, [0095] wherein the single-stranded interfering RNA hybridizes under physiological conditions to a portion of mRNA selected from the group consisting of [0096] mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising nucleotide 642, 789, 791, 860, 861, 862, 867, 868, 1009, 1273, 1394, 1436, 1471, 1472, 1533, 1535, 1547, 1680, 1738, 1739, 1766, 1880, 1947, 2022, 2036, 2328, 2329, 2473, 2509, 2520, 2524, 2558, or 2613, and, [0097] mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 comprising nucleotide 1007, 1698, or 1769, [0098] and the interfering RNA has a region of at least near-perfect contiguous complementarity with the hybridizing portion of mRNA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1, [0099] wherein the expression of Syk mRNA is thereby attenuated.

[0100] Also disclosed are method of treating ocular inflammation or conjunctivitis in a subject in need thereof, comprising: [0101] administering to the subject a composition comprising a double stranded siRNA molecule that down regulates expression of a Syk gene via RNA interference, [0102] wherein: [0103] each strand of the siRNA molecule is independently about 19 to about 27 nucleotides in length; and [0104] one strand of the siRNA molecule comprises a nucleotide sequence having substantial complementarity to an mRNA corresponding to the Syk gene so that the siRNA molecule directs cleavage of the mRNA via RNA interference.

[0105] Also disclosed are various compositions comprising an interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides, and comprising a nucleotide sequence corresponding to any one of SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:13-SEQ ID NO:40, and SEQ ID NO:44-SEQ ID NO:47, or a complement thereof; and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. Various other compositions comprise an interfering RNA having a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides, and consisting essentially of a nucleotide sequence corresponding to any one of SEQ ID NO:41-SEQ ID NO:47, or a complement thereof; and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.

[0106] While a particular embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, numerous variations and alternate embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention be limited only in terms of the appended claims.

[0107] The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes to the claims that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope. Further, all published documents, patents, and applications mentioned herein are hereby incorporated by reference, as if presented in their entirety.

Examples

[0108] Table 1 lists examples of Syk DNA target sequences of SEQ ID NO:1 from which siRNAs of the present invention are designed in a manner as set forth above. Syk encodes spleen tyrosine kinase, as noted above.

TABLE-US-00007 TABLE 1 Syk Target Sequences for siRNAs # of Starting Nucleotide with SEQ reference to ID Syk Target Sequence SEQ ID NO: 1 NO GCACTATCGCATCGACAAA 789 2 ACTATCGCATCGACAAAGA 791 13 GGCAGCTAGTCGAGCATTA 860 14 GCAGCTAGTCGAGCATTAT 861 15 CAGCTAGTCGAGCATTATT 862 16 AGTCGAGCATTATTCTTAT 867 17 GTCGAGCATTATTCTTATA 868 18 AGTTATTAGCAGAAGCAAA 1394 19 CGTACATCGTGCGCATGAT 1436 20 GAGTCCTGGATGCTAGTTA 1471 21 AGTCCTGGATGCTAGTTAT 1472 22 ACAGACATGTCAAGGATAA 1535 23 AGGATAAGAACATCATAGA 1547 24 TGATTTCGGACTCTCCAAA 1680 25 CATGGAAAGTGGCCTGTCA 1738 26 ATGGAAAGTGGCCTGTCAA 1739 27 CTCCGGAATGCATCAACTA 1766 28 GAAGTGAAGTCACCGCTAT 1880 29 GATGTACGATCTCATGAAT 1947 30 GCTGCGCAATTACTACTAT 2022 31 ACTATGACGTGGTGAACTA 2036 32 TTACGATCTGTTTCCAAAT 2328 33 TACGATCTGTTTCCAAATC 2329 34 CTTAGCATGTGACTCCTGA 2473 35 AGGAATTTGGCTGCTTCTA 2509 36 TGCTTCTACGGCCATGAGA 2520 37 TCTACGGCCATGAGACTGA 2524 38 AAGCTTTCCTGACAATAAA 2558 39 CCAGTGCAGTTTCTAAGCA 2613 40

TABLE-US-00008 TABLE 2 Further Syk Target Sequences for siRNAs # of Starting Nucleotide with reference to SEQ ID Syk Target Sequence SEQ ID NO: 1 NO: GTGGAATAATCTCAAGAAT 1007 41 AGCACTGCGTGCTGATGAA 1698 42 CGGAATGCATCAACTACTA 1769 43 AAUGCCUUGGUUCCAUGGA 642 44 GGAAUAAUCUCAAGAAUCA 1009 45 GAACUGGGCUCUGGUAAUU 1273 46 GAACAGACAUGUCAAGGAU 1533 47

[0109] As cited in the examples above, one of skill in the art is able to use the target sequence information provided in Table 1 to design interfering RNAs having a length shorter or longer than the sequences provided in Table 1 by referring to the sequence position in SEQ ID NO:1 and adding or deleting nucleotides complementary or near complementary to SEQ ID NO:1.

[0110] The target RNA cleavage reaction guided by siRNAs and other forms of interfering RNA is highly sequence specific. In general, siRNA containing a sense nucleotide strand identical in sequence to a portion of the target mRNA and an antisense nucleotide strand exactly complementary to a portion of the target mRNA are siRNA embodiments for inhibition of mRNAs cited herein. However, 100% sequence complementarity between the antisense siRNA strand and the target mRNA, or between the antisense siRNA strand and the sense siRNA strand, is not required to practice the present invention. Thus, for example, the invention allows for sequence variations that might be expected due to genetic mutation, strain polymorphism, or evolutionary divergence.

[0111] In one embodiment of the invention, the antisense strand of the siRNA has at least near-perfect contiguous complementarity of at least 19 nucleotides with the target mRNA. "Near-perfect," as used herein, means the antisense strand of the siRNA is "substantially complementary to," and the sense strand of the siRNA is "substantially identical" to at least a portion of the target mRNA. "Identity," as known by one of ordinary skill in the art, is the degree of sequence relatedness between nucleotide sequences as determined by matching the order and identity of nucleotides between the sequences. In one embodiment, the antisense strand of an siRNA having 80% and between 80% up to 100% complementarity, for example, 85%, 90% or 95% complementarity, to the target mRNA sequence are considered near-perfect complementarity and may be used in the present invention. "Perfect" contiguous complementarity is standard Watson-Crick base pairing of adjacent base pairs. "At least near-perfect" contiguous complementarity includes "perfect" complementarity as used herein. Computer methods for determining identity or complementarity are designed to identify the greatest degree of matching of nucleotide sequences, for example, BLASTN (Altschul, S. F., et al. (1990) J. Mol. Biol. 215:403-410).

[0112] The relationship between a target mRNA (sense strand) and one strand of an siRNA (the sense strand) is that of identity. The sense strand of an siRNA is also called a passenger strand, if present. The relationship between a target mRNA (sense strand) and the other strand of an siRNA (the antisense strand) is that of complementarity. The antisense strand of an siRNA is also called a guide strand.

[0113] The penultimate base in a nucleic acid sequence that is written in a 5' to 3' direction is the next to the last base, i.e., the base next to the 3' base. The penultimate 13 bases of a nucleic acid sequence written in a 5' to 3' direction are the last 13 bases of a sequence next to the 3' base and not including the 3' base. Similarly, the penultimate 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18 bases of a nucleic acid sequence written in a 5' to 3' direction are the last 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18 bases of a sequence, respectively, next to the 3' base and not including the 3' base.

[0114] In one embodiment of the invention, the region of contiguous nucleotides is a region of at least 14 contiguous nucleotides having at least 85% sequence complementarity to, or at least 85% sequence identity with, the penultimate 14 nucleotides of the 3' end of an mRNA corresponding to the sequence identified by each sequence identifier. Two nucleotide substitutions (i.e., 12/14=86% identity/complementarity) are included in such a phrase.

[0115] In a further embodiment of the invention, the region of contiguous nucleotides is a region of at least 15, 16, 17, or 18 contiguous nucleotides having at least 80% sequence complementarity to, or at least 80% sequence identity with, the penultimate 14 nucleotides of the 3' end of an mRNA corresponding to the sequence of the sequence identifier. Three nucleotide substitutions are included in such a phrase.

[0116] The target sequence in the mRNAs corresponding to SEQ ID NO:1 may be in the 5' or 3' untranslated regions of the mRNA as well as in the coding region of the mRNA.

[0117] One or both of the strands of double-stranded interfering RNA may have a 3' overhang of from 1 to 6 nucleotides, which may be ribonucleotides or deoxyribonucleotides or a mixture thereof. The nucleotides of the overhang are not base-paired. In one embodiment of the invention, the interfering RNA comprises a 3' overhang of TT or UU. In another embodiment of the invention, the interfering RNA comprises at least one blunt end. The termini usually have a 5' phosphate group or a 3' hydroxyl group. In other embodiments, the antisense strand has a 5' phosphate group, and the sense strand has a 5' hydroxyl group. In still other embodiments, the termini are further modified by covalent addition of other molecules or functional groups.

[0118] The sense and antisense strands of the double-stranded siRNA may be in a duplex formation of two single strands as described above or may be a single molecule where the regions of complementarity are base-paired and are covalently linked by a hairpin loop so as to form a single strand. It is believed that the hairpin is cleaved intracellularly by a protein termed dicer to form an interfering RNA of two individual base-paired RNA molecules.

[0119] Interfering RNAs may differ from naturally-occurring RNA by the addition, deletion, substitution or modification of one or more nucleotides. Non-nucleotide material may be bound to the interfering RNA, either at the 5' end, the 3' end, or internally. Such modifications are commonly designed to increase the nuclease resistance of the interfering RNAs, to improve cellular uptake, to enhance cellular targeting, to assist in tracing the interfering RNA, to further improve stability, or to reduce the potential for activation of the interferon pathway. For example, interfering RNAs may comprise a purine nucleotide at the ends of overhangs. Conjugation of cholesterol to the 3' end of the sense strand of an siRNA molecule by means of a pyrrolidine linker, for example, also provides stability to an siRNA.

[0120] Further modifications include a 3' terminal biotin molecule, a peptide known to have cell-penetrating properties, a nanoparticle, a peptidomimetic, a fluorescent dye, or a dendrimer, for example.

[0121] Nucleotides may be modified on their base portion, on their sugar portion, or on the phosphate portion of the molecule and function in embodiments of the present invention. Modifications include substitutions with alkyl, alkoxy, amino, deaza, halo, hydroxyl, thiol groups, or a combination thereof, for example. Nucleotides may be substituted with analogs with greater stability such as replacing a ribonucleotide with a deoxyribonucleotide, or having sugar modifications such as 2' OH groups replaced by 2' amino groups, 2' O-methyl groups, 2' methoxyethyl groups, or a 2'-O, 4'-C methylene bridge, for example. Examples of a purine or pyrimidine analog of nucleotides include a xanthine, a hypoxanthine, an azapurine, a methylthioadenine, 7-deaza-adenosine and O- and N-modified nucleotides. The phosphate group of the nucleotide may be modified by substituting one or more of the oxygens of the phosphate group with nitrogen or with sulfur (phosphorothioates). Modifications are useful, for example, to enhance function, to improve stability or permeability, or to direct localization or targeting.

[0122] There may be a region or regions of the antisense interfering RNA strand that is (are) not complementary to a portion of SEQ ID NO:1. Non-complementary regions may be at the 3', 5' or both ends of a complementary region or between two complementary regions.

[0123] Interfering RNAs may be generated exogenously by chemical synthesis, by in vitro transcription, or by cleavage of longer double-stranded RNA with dicer or another appropriate nuclease with similar activity. Chemically synthesized interfering RNAs, produced from protected ribonucleoside phosphoramidites using a conventional DNA/RNA synthesizer, may be obtained from commercial suppliers such as Ambion Inc. (Austin, Tex.), Invitrogen (Carlsbad, Calif.), or Dharmacon (Lafayette, Colo.). Interfering RNAs are purified by extraction with a solvent or resin, precipitation, electrophoresis, chromatography, or a combination thereof, for example. Alternatively, interfering RNA may be used with little if any purification to avoid losses due to sample processing.

[0124] Interfering RNAs can also be expressed endogenously from plasmid or viral expression vectors or from minimal expression cassettes, for example, PCR generated fragments comprising one or more promoters and an appropriate template or templates for the interfering RNA. Examples of commercially available plasmid-based expression vectors for shRNA include members of the pSilencer series (Ambion, Austin, Tex.) and pCpG-siRNA (InvivoGen, San Diego, Calif.). Viral vectors for expression of interfering RNA may be derived from a variety of viruses including adenovirus, adeno-associated virus, lentivirus (e.g., HIV, FIV, and EIAV), and herpes virus. Examples of commercially available viral vectors for shRNA expression include pSilencer adeno (Ambion, Austin, Tex.) and pLenti6/BLOCK-iT.TM.-DEST (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, Calif.). Selection of viral vectors, methods for expressing the interfering RNA from the vector and methods of delivering the viral vector are within the ordinary skill of one in the art.

[0125] Examples of kits for production of PCR-generated shRNA expression cassettes include Silencer Express (Ambion, Austin, Tex.) and siXpress (Mirus, Madison, Wis.). A first interfering RNA may be administered via in vivo expression from a first expression vector capable of expressing the first interfering RNA and a second interfering RNA may be administered via in vivo expression from a second expression vector capable of expressing the second interfering RNA, or both interfering RNAs may be administered via in vivo expression from a single expression vector capable of expressing both interfering RNAs.

[0126] Interfering RNAs may be expressed from a variety of eukaryotic promoters known to those of ordinary skill in the art, including pol III promoters, such as the U6 or H1 promoters, or pol II promoters, such as the cytomegalovirus promoter. Those of skill in the art will recognize that these promoters can also be adapted to allow inducible expression of the interfering RNA.

[0127] Hybridization Under Physiological Conditions:

[0128] In certain embodiments of the present invention, an antisense strand of an interfering RNA hybridizes with an mRNA in vivo as part of the RISC complex.

[0129] The above-described in vitro hybridization assay provides a method of predicting whether binding between a candidate siRNA and a target will have specificity. However, in the context of the RISC complex, specific cleavage of a target can also occur with an antisense strand that does not demonstrate high stringency for hybridization in vitro.

[0130] Single-Stranded Interfering RNA:

[0131] As cited above, interfering RNAs ultimately function as single strands. Single-stranded (ss) interfering RNA has been found to effect mRNA silencing, albeit less efficiently than double-stranded RNA. Therefore, embodiments of the present invention also provide for administration of a ss interfering RNA that hybridizes under physiological conditions to a portion of SEQ ID NO:1 and has a region of at least near-perfect contiguous complementarity of at least 19 nucleotides with the hybridizing portion of SEQ ID NO:1. The ss interfering RNA of Table 1 has a length of 19 to 49 nucleotides as for the ds interfering RNA cited above. The ss interfering RNA has a 5' phosphate or is phosphorylated in situ or in vivo at the 5' position. The term "5' phosphorylated" is used to describe, for example, polynucleotides or oligonucleotides having a phosphate group attached via ester linkage to the C5 hydroxyl of the sugar (e.g., ribose, deoxyribose, or an analog of same) at the 5' end of the polynucleotide or oligonucleotide.

[0132] SS interfering RNAs are synthesized chemically or by in vitro transcription or expressed endogenously from vectors or expression cassettes as for ds interfering RNAs. 5' Phosphate groups may be added via a kinase, or a 5' phosphate may be the result of nuclease cleavage of an RNA. Delivery is as for ds interfering RNAs. In one embodiment, ss interfering RNAs having protected ends and nuclease resistant modifications are administered for silencing. SS interfering RNAs may be dried for storage or dissolved in an aqueous solution. The solution may contain buffers or salts to inhibit annealing or for stabilization.

[0133] Hairpin Interfering RNA:

[0134] A hairpin interfering RNA is a single molecule (e.g., a single oligonucleotide chain) that comprises both the sense and antisense strands of an interfering RNA in a stem-loop or hairpin structure (e.g., a shRNA). For example, shRNAs can be expressed from DNA vectors in which the DNA oligonucleotides encoding a sense interfering RNA strand are linked to the DNA oligonucleotides encoding the reverse complementary antisense interfering RNA strand by a short spacer. If needed for the chosen expression vector, 3' terminal T's and nucleotides forming restriction sites may be added. The resulting RNA transcript folds back onto itself to form a stem-loop structure.

[0135] Mode of Administration:

[0136] Interfering RNA may be delivered via aerosol, buccal, dermal, intradermal, inhaling, intramuscular, intranasal, intraocular, intrapulmonary, intravenous, intraperitoneal, nasal, ocular, oral, otic, parenteral, patch, subcutaneous, sublingual, topical, or transdermal administration, for example.

[0137] Administration may be directly to the eye by ocular tissue administration such as periocular, conjunctival, subtenon, intracameral, intravitreal, intraocular, subretinal, subconjunctival, retrobulbar, intracanalicular, or suprachoroidal administration; by injection, by direct application to the eye using a catheter or other placement device such as a retinal pellet, intraocular insert, suppository or an implant comprising a porous, non-porous, or gelatinous material; by topical ocular drops or ointments; or by a slow release device in the cul-de-sac or implanted adjacent to the sclera (transscleral) or within the eye. Intracameral injection may be through the cornea into the anterior chamber to allow the agent to reach the trabecular meshwork. Intracanalicular injection may be into the venous collector channels draining Schlemm's canal or into Schlemm's canal. Further modes of administration include tablets, pills, and capsules.

[0138] Administration may be directly to the ear via, for example, topical otic drops or ointments, slow release devices in the ear or implanted adjacent to the ear. Local administration includes otic intramuscular, intratympanic cavity and intracochlear injection routes of administration. Furthermore, agents can be administered to the inner ear by placement of a gelfoam, or similar absorbent and adherent product, soaked with the interfering RNA against the window membrane of the middle/inner ear or adjacent structure.

[0139] Administration may be directly to the lungs, via, for example, an aerosolized preparation, and by inhalation via an inhaler or a nebulizer, for example

[0140] Subject:

[0141] A subject in need of treatment for a Syk-related inflammatory condition or at risk for developing a Syk-related inflammatory condition is a human or other mammal having a Syk-related inflammatory condition or at risk of developing a Syk-related inflammatory condition, such as allergic conjunctivitis, ocular inflammation, dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma, allergy, or mast-cell disease for example, associated with undesired or inappropriate expression or activity of Syk as cited herein.

[0142] Ocular structures associated with such disorders may include the eye, retina, choroid, lens, cornea, trabecular meshwork, iris, optic nerve, optic nerve head, sclera, aqueous chamber, vitreous chamber, ciliary body, or posterior segment, for example.

[0143] Otic structures associated with such disorders may include the inner ear, middle ear, outer ear, tympanic cavity or membrane, cochlea, or Eustachian tube, for example.

[0144] Pulmonary structures associated with such disorders may include the nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx, bronchial tubes, trachea, carina (the ridge separating the opening of the right and left main bronchi), and lungs, particularly the lower lungs, such as bronchioli and alveoli.

[0145] A subject may also be an otic cell, a lung cell, an ocular cell, cell culture, organ or an ex vivo organ or tissue.

[0146] Formulations and Dosage:

[0147] Pharmaceutical formulations comprise interfering RNAs, or salts thereof, of the invention up to 99% by weight mixed with a physiologically acceptable carrier medium such as water, buffer, saline, glycine, hyaluronic acid, mannitol, and the like.

[0148] Interfering RNAs of the present invention are administered as solids, solutions, suspensions, or emulsions. The following are examples of possible formulations embodied by this invention.

TABLE-US-00009 Amount in weight % Interfering RNA up to 99; 0.1-99; 0.1-50; 0.5-10.0 Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose 0.5 Sodium chloride 0.8 Benzalkonium Chloride 0.01 EDTA 0.01 NaOH/HCl Qs pH 7.4 Purified water (RNase-free) Qs 100 Ml

TABLE-US-00010 Amount in weight % Interfering RNA up to 99; 0.1-99; 0.1-50; 0.5-10.0 Phosphate Buffered Saline 1.0 Benzalkonium Chloride 0.01 Polysorbate 80 0.5 Purified water (RNase-free) q.s. to 100%

TABLE-US-00011 Amount in weight % Interfering RNA up to 99; 0.1-99; 0.1-50; 0.5-10.0 Monobasic sodium phosphate 0.05 Dibasic sodium phosphate 0.15 (anhydrous) Sodium chloride 0.75 Disodium EDTA 0.05 Cremophor EL 0.1 Benzalkonium chloride 0.01 HCl and/or NaOH pH 7.3-7.4 Purified water (RNase-free) q.s. to 100%

TABLE-US-00012 Amount in weight % Interfering RNA up to 99; 0.1-99; 0.1-50; 0.5-10.0 Phosphate Buffered Saline 1.0 Hydroxypropyl-.beta.-cyclodextrin 4.0 Purified water (RNase-free) q.s. to 100%

[0149] Generally, an effective amount of the interfering RNAs of embodiments of the invention results in an extracellular concentration at the surface of the target cell of from 100 pM to 100 nM, or from 1 nM to 50 nM, or from 5 nM to about 10 nM, or about 25 nM. The dose required to achieve this local concentration will vary depending on a number of factors including the delivery method, the site of delivery, the number of cell layers between the delivery site and the target cell or tissue, whether delivery is local or systemic, etc. The concentration at the delivery site may be considerably higher than it is at the surface of the target cell or tissue. Topical compositions are delivered to the surface of the target organ one to four times per day, or on an extended delivery schedule such as daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or longer, according to the routine discretion of a skilled clinician. The pH of the formulation is about pH 4-9, or pH 4.5 to pH 7.4.

[0150] Therapeutic treatment of patients with siRNAs directed against Syk mRNA is expected to be beneficial over small molecule treatments by increasing the duration of action, thereby allowing less frequent dosing and greater patient compliance.

[0151] An effective amount of a formulation may depend on factors such as the age, race, and sex of the subject, the severity of the Syk-related inflammatory condition, the rate of target gene transcript/protein turnover, the interfering RNA potency, and the interfering RNA stability, for example. In one embodiment, the interfering RNA is delivered topically to a target organ and reaches spleen tyrosine kinase containing tissue at a therapeutic dose thereby ameliorating a Syk-related process.

[0152] Acceptable carriers: An acceptable carrier refers to those carriers that cause at most, little to no ocular irritation, provide suitable preservation if needed, and deliver one or more interfering RNAs of the present invention in a homogenous dosage. An acceptable carrier for administration of interfering RNA of embodiments of the present invention include the cationic lipid-based transfection reagents TransIT.RTM.-TKO (Mirus Corporation, Madison, Wis.), LIPOFECTIN.RTM., Lipofectamine, OLIGOFECTAMINE.TM. (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, Calif.), or DHARMAFECT.TM. (Dharmacon, Lafayette, Colo.); polycations such as polyethyleneimine; cationic peptides such as Tat, polyarginine, or Penetratin (Antp peptide); or liposomes. Liposomes are formed from standard vesicle-forming lipids and a sterol, such as cholesterol, and may include a targeting molecule such as a monoclonal antibody having binding affinity for endothelial cell surface antigens, for example. Further, the liposomes may be PEGylated liposomes.

[0153] The interfering RNAs may be delivered in solution, in suspension, or in bioerodible or non-bioerodible delivery devices. The interfering RNAs can be delivered alone or as components of defined, covalent conjugates. The interfering RNAs can also be complexed with cationic lipids, cationic peptides, or cationic polymers; complexed with proteins, fusion proteins, or protein domains with nucleic acid binding properties (e.g., protamine); or encapsulated in nanoparticles. Tissue- or cell-specific delivery can be accomplished by the inclusion of an appropriate targeting moiety such as an antibody or antibody fragment.

[0154] For ophthalmic, otic, or pulmonary delivery, an interfering RNA may be combined with ophthalmologically, optically, or pulmonary acceptable preservatives, co-solvents, surfactants, viscosity enhancers, penetration enhancers, buffers, sodium chloride, or water to form an aqueous, sterile suspension or solution. Solution formulations may be prepared by dissolving the interfering RNA in a physiologically acceptable isotonic aqueous buffer. Further, the solutions may include an acceptable surfactant to assist in dissolving the inhibitor. Viscosity building agents, such as hydroxymethyl cellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose, methylcellulose, polyvinylpyrrolidone, or the like may be added to the compositions of the present invention to improve the retention of the compound.

[0155] In order to prepare a sterile ointment formulation, the interfering RNA is combined with a preservative in an appropriate vehicle, such as mineral oil, liquid lanolin, or white petrolatum. Sterile gel formulations may be prepared by suspending the interfering RNA in a hydrophilic base prepared from the combination of, for example, CARBOPOL.RTM.-940 (BF Goodrich, Charlotte, N.C.), or the like, according to methods known in the art. VISCOAT.RTM. (Alcon Laboratories, Inc., Fort Worth, Tex.) may be used for intraocular injection, for example. Other compositions of the present invention may contain penetration enhancing agents such as cremephor and TWEEN.RTM. 80 (polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaureate, Sigma Aldrich, St. Louis, Mo.), in the event the interfering RNA is less penetrating in the organ or tissue of interest.

[0156] Kits:

[0157] Embodiments of the present invention provide a kit that includes reagents for attenuating the expression of an mRNA as cited herein in a cell. The kit contains an siRNA or an shRNA expression vector. For siRNAs and non-viral shRNA expression vectors the kit also may contain a transfection reagent or other suitable delivery vehicle. For viral shRNA expression vectors, the kit may contain the viral vector and/or the necessary components for viral vector production (e.g., a packaging cell line as well as a vector comprising the viral vector template and additional helper vectors for packaging). The kit may also contain positive and negative control siRNAs or shRNA expression vectors (e.g., anon-targeting control siRNA or an siRNA that targets an unrelated mRNA). The kit also may contain reagents for assessing knockdown of the intended target gene (e.g., primers and probes for quantitative PCR to detect the target mRNA and/or antibodies against the corresponding protein for western blots). Alternatively, the kit may comprise an siRNA sequence or an shRNA sequence and the instructions and materials necessary to generate the siRNA by in vitro transcription or to construct an shRNA expression vector.

[0158] A pharmaceutical combination in kit form is further provided that includes, in packaged combination, a carrier means adapted to receive a container means in close confinement therewith and a first container means including an interfering RNA composition and an acceptable carrier. Such kits can further include, if desired, one or more of various conventional pharmaceutical kit components, such as, for example, containers with one or more pharmaceutically acceptable carriers, additional containers, etc., as will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Printed instructions, either as inserts or as labels, indicating quantities of the components to be administered, guidelines for administration, and/or guidelines for mixing the components, can also be included in the kit.

[0159] The ability of Syk interfering RNA to knock-down the levels of endogenous Syk expression in, for example, human corneal epithelial cells is evaluated in vitro as follows. Transformed human corneal epithelial cells, for example, the CEPI-17 cell line (Offord et al. (1999) Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 40:1091-1101), are plated 24 h prior to transfection in KGM keratinocyte medium (Cambrex, East Rutherford, N.J.). Transfection is performed using DharmaFECT.TM. 1 (Dharmacon, Lafayette, Colo.) according to the manufacturer's instructions at Syk interfering RNA concentrations ranging from 0.1 nM-100 nM. Non-targeting control interfering RNA and lamin A/C interfering RNA (Dharmacon) are used as controls. Target mRNA levels are assessed by qPCR 24 h post-transfection using, for example, TAQMAN.RTM. forward and reverse primers and a probe set that encompasses the target site (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, Calif.). Target protein levels may be assessed approximately 72 h post-transfection (actual time dependent on protein turnover rate) by western blot, for example. Standard techniques for RNA and/or protein isolation from cultured cells are well-known to those skilled in the art. To reduce the chance of non-specific, off-target effects, the lowest possible concentration of Syk interfering RNA is used that produces the desired level of knock-down in target gene expression.

[0160] The references cited herein, to the extent that they provide exemplary procedural or other details supplementary to those set forth herein, are specifically incorporated by reference.

[0161] Those of skill in the art, in light of the present disclosure, will appreciate that obvious modifications of the embodiments disclosed herein can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. All of the embodiments disclosed herein can be made and executed without undue experimentation in light of the present disclosure. The full scope of the invention is set out in the disclosure and equivalent embodiments thereof. The specification should not be construed to unduly narrow the full scope of protection to which the present invention is entitled.

[0162] Interfering RNA for Specifically Silencing SYK in 293FT Cells

[0163] The present study examines the ability of SYK-interfering RNA to knock down the levels of endogenous SYK protein expression in cultured 293FT cells.

[0164] Transfection of 293FT cells (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, Calif.) was accomplished using standard in vitro concentrations (0.1-10 nM) of SYK siRNAs, siCONTROL RISC-free siRNA #1, or siCONTROL Non-targeting siRNA #2 (NTC2) and DHARMAFECT.RTM. #1 transfection reagent (Dharmacon, Lafayette, Colo.). All siRNAs were dissolved in 1.times.siRNA buffer, an aqueous solution of 20 mM KCl, 6 mM HEPES (pH 7.5), 0.2 mM MgCl2. Control samples included a buffer control in which the volume of siRNA was replaced with an equal volume of 1.times.siRNA buffer (-siRNA). Western blots using an anti-SYK antibody (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Santa Cruz, Calif.) were performed to assess SYK protein expression. The SYK siRNAs are double-stranded interfering RNAs having specificity for the following targets: siSYK #2 targets the sequence AAUGCCUUGGUUCCAUGGA (SEQ ID NO: 44); siSYK #5 targets the sequence GGAAUAAUCUCAAGAAUCA (SEQ ID NO: 45); siSYK #6 targets the sequence GAACUGGGCUCUGGUAAUU (SEQ ID NO: 46); siSYK #8 targets the sequence GAACAGACAUGUCAAGGAU (SEQ ID NO: 47). As shown by the data of FIG. 1, siSYK #5, siSYK #6, and siSYK #8 siRNAs reduced SYK protein expression significantly at the 10 nM and 1 nM concentrations relative to the control siRNAs, but exhibited reduced efficacy at 0.1 nM. The siSYK #6, and siSYK #8 siRNAs were particularly effective. The siSYK #2 siRNA was ineffective at all three concentrations.

Sequence CWU 1

1

4712672DNAHomo sapiens 1aggaagagcc gcgggcccgg cggctgaggc caccccggcg gcggctggag agcgaggagg 60agcgggtggc cccgcgctgc gcccgccctc gcctcacctg gcgcaggtgg acacctgcgc 120aggtgtgtgc cctccggccc ctgaagcatg gccagcagcg gcatggctga cagcgccaac 180cacctgccct tctttttcgg caacatcacc cgggaggagg cagaagatta cctggtccag 240gggggcatga gtgatgggct ttatttgctg cgccagagcc gcaactacct gggtggcttc 300gccctgtccg tggcccacgg gaggaaggca caccactaca ccatcgagcg ggagctgaat 360ggcacctacg ccatcgccgg tggcaggacc catgccagcc ccgccgacct ctgccactac 420cactcccagg agtctgatgg cctggtctgc ctcctcaaga agcccttcaa ccggccccaa 480ggggtgcagc ccaagactgg gccctttgag gatttgaagg aaaacctcat cagggaatat 540gtgaagcaga catggaacct gcagggtcag gctctggagc aggccatcat cagtcagaag 600cctcagctgg agaagctgat cgctaccaca gcccatgaaa aaatgccttg gttccatgga 660aaaatctctc gggaagaatc tgagcaaatt gtcctgatag gatcaaagac aaatggaaag 720ttcctgatcc gagccagaga caacaacggc tcctacgccc tgtgcctgct gcacgaaggg 780aaggtgctgc actatcgcat cgacaaagac aagacaggga agctctccat ccccgaggga 840aagaagttcg acacgctctg gcagctagtc gagcattatt cttataaagc agatggtttg 900ttaagagttc ttactgtccc atgtcaaaaa atcggcacac agggaaatgt taattttgga 960ggccgtccac aacttccagg ttcccatcct gcgacttggt cagcgggtgg aataatctca 1020agaatcaaat catactcctt cccaaagcct ggccacagaa agtcctcccc tgcccaaggg 1080aaccggcaag agagtactgt gtcattcaat ccgtatgagc cagaacttgc accctgggct 1140gcagacaaag gcccccagag agaagcccta cccatggaca cagaggtgta cgagagcccc 1200tacgcggacc ctgaggagat caggcccaag gaggtttacc tggaccgaaa gctgctgacg 1260ctggaagaca aagaactggg ctctggtaat tttggaactg tgaaaaaggg ctactaccaa 1320atgaaaaaag ttgtgaaaac cgtggctgtg aaaatactga aaaacgaggc caatgacccc 1380gctcttaaag atgagttatt agcagaagca aatgtcatgc agcagctgga caacccgtac 1440atcgtgcgca tgatcgggat atgcgaggcc gagtcctgga tgctagttat ggagatggca 1500gaacttggtc ccctcaataa gtatttgcag cagaacagac atgtcaagga taagaacatc 1560atagaactgg ttcatcaggt ttccatgggc atgaagtact tggaggagag caattttgtg 1620cacagagatc tggctgcaag aaatgtgttg ctagttaccc aacattatgc caagatcagt 1680gatttcggac tctccaaagc actgcgtgct gatgaaaact actacaaggc ccagacccat 1740ggaaagtggc ctgtcaagtg gtacgctccg gaatgcatca actactacaa gttctccagc 1800aaaagcgatg tctggagctt tggagtgttg atgtgggaag cattctccta tgggcagaag 1860ccatatcgag ggatgaaagg aagtgaagtc accgctatgt tagagaaagg agagcggatg 1920gggtgccctg cagggtgtcc aagagagatg tacgatctca tgaatctgtg ctggacatac 1980gatgtggaaa acaggcccgg attcgcagca gtggaactgc ggctgcgcaa ttactactat 2040gacgtggtga actaaccgct cccgcacctg tcggtggctg cctttgatca caggagcaat 2100cacaggaaaa tgtatccaga ggaattgatt gtcagccacc tccctctgcc agtcgggaga 2160gccaggcttg gatggaacat gcccacaact tgtcacccaa agcctgtccc aggactcacc 2220ctccacaaag caaaggcagt cccgggagaa aagacggatg gcaggatcca aggggctagc 2280tggatttgtt tgttttcttg tctgtgtgat tttcatacag gttattttta cgatctgttt 2340ccaaatccct ttcatgtctt tccacttctc tgggtcccgg ggtgcatttg ttactcatcg 2400ggcccaggga cattgcagag tggcctagag cactctcacc ccaagcggcc ttttccaaat 2460gcccaaggat gccttagcat gtgactcctg aagggaaggc aaaggcagag gaatttggct 2520gcttctacgg ccatgagact gatccctggc cactgaaaag ctttcctgac aataaaaatg 2580ttttgaggct ttaaaaagaa aatcaagttt gaccagtgca gtttctaagc atgtagccag 2640ttaaggaaag aaagaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaa aa 2672219DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 2gcactatcgc atcgacaaa 19321DNAArtificialSense Strand with 3'NN 3gcacuaucgc aucgacaaan n 21421DNAArtificialAntisense Strand with 3'NN 4uuugucgaug cgauagugcn n 21521RNAArtificialSense Strand 5gcacuaucgc aucgacaaau u 21621RNAArtificialAntisense Strand 6uuugucgaug cgauagugcu u 21719RNAArtificialSense Strand 7gcacuaucgc aucgacaaa 19819RNAArtificialAntisense Strand 8uuugucgaug cgauagugc 19948DNAArtificialHairpin duplex with loop 9gcacuaucgc aucgacaaan nnnnnnnuuu gucgaugcga uagugcuu 481025DNAArtificialSense Strand 10gcactatcgc atcgacaaag acaag 251125RNAArtificialSense Strand 11gcacuaucgc aucgacaaag acaag 251227RNAArtificialAntisense Strand 12cuugucuuug ucgaugcgau agugcuu 271319DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 13actatcgcat cgacaaaga 191419DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 14ggcagctagt cgagcatta 191519DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 15gcagctagtc gagcattat 191619DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 16cagctagtcg agcattatt 191719DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 17agtcgagcat tattcttat 191819DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 18gtcgagcatt attcttata 191919DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 19agttattagc agaagcaaa 192019DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 20cgtacatcgt gcgcatgat 192119DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 21gagtcctgga tgctagtta 192219DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 22agtcctggat gctagttat 192319DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 23acagacatgt caaggataa 192419DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 24aggataagaa catcataga 192519DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 25tgatttcgga ctctccaaa 192619DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 26catggaaagt ggcctgtca 192719DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 27atggaaagtg gcctgtcaa 192819DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 28ctccggaatg catcaacta 192919DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 29gaagtgaagt caccgctat 193019DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 30gatgtacgat ctcatgaat 193119DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 31gctgcgcaat tactactat 193219DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 32actatgacgt ggtgaacta 193319DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 33ttacgatctg tttccaaat 193419DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 34tacgatctgt ttccaaatc 193519DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 35cttagcatgt gactcctga 193619DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 36aggaatttgg ctgcttcta 193719DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 37tgcttctacg gccatgaga 193819DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 38tctacggcca tgagactga 193919DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 39aagctttcct gacaataaa 194019DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 40ccagtgcagt ttctaagca 194119DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 41gtggaataat ctcaagaat 194219DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 42agcactgcgt gctgatgaa 194319DNAArtificialTarget Sequence 43cggaatgcat caactacta 194419RNAArtificialsynthetic sequence 44aaugccuugg uuccaugga 194519RNAArtificialsynthetic sequence 45ggaauaaucu caagaauca 194619RNAArtificialsynthetic sequence 46gaacugggcu cugguaauu 194719RNAArtificialsynthetic seuqence 47gaacagacau gucaaggau 19

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