Kinetics of lipid-nanoparticle-mediated intracellular mRNA delivery and function
Journal article, 2017
mRNA delivery into cells forms the basis for one of the new and promising ways to treat various diseases. Among suitable carriers, lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) with a size of about 100 nm are now often employed. Despite high current interest in this area, the understanding of the basic details of LNP-mediated mRNA delivery and function is limited. To clarify the kinetics of mRNA release from LNPs, the author uses three generic models implying (i) exponential, (ii) diffusion-controlled, and (iii) detachment-controlled kinetic regimes, respectively. Despite the distinct differences in these kinetics, the associated transient kinetics of mRNA translation to the corresponding protein and its degradation are shown to be not too sensitive to the details of the mRNA delivery by LNPs (or other nanocarriers). In addition, the author illustrates how this protein may temporarily influence the expression of one gene or a few equivalent genes. The analysis includes positive or negative regulation of the gene transcription via the attachment of the protein without or with positive or negative feedback in the gene expression. Stable, bistable, and oscillatory schemes have been scrutinized in this context.