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RNA Nanotechnology
Gordon Research Conference

Converging Disciplines for the Advancement of Inter-RNA Interactions

Dates

February 1-6, 2015

Location

Four Points Sheraton / Holiday Inn Express
Ventura, CA

Organizers

Chair:
Peixuan Guo

Vice Chair:
Neocles B. Leontis

Meeting Description

Macromolecules of RNA have intrinsically defined features at the nanometer scale and can serve as powerful building blocks for the bottom-up fabrication of nanostructures and nanodevices. The hallmarks of RNA nanotechnology include: (1) use of RNA as a nanomaterial to build homogeneous structures with defined structure and stoichiometry; this pioneering concept first demonstrated by conference chair, Peixuan Guo in 1998 has now created an unexpected paradigm of materials engineering and synthetic structural biology. This concept is fundamentally different from molecular biology studies of RNA, which is not classified as nanotechnology. (2) As an alternative to DNA, RNA has recently catapulted into place as a nanotechnology platform due to its diversity in both structure and function. RNA is unique in comparison to DNA by virtue of its higher thermodynamic stability, canonical and noncanonical base pairing ability, as well as a variety of single stranded loops suitable for inter- and intra-molecular interactions, base stacking, and distinct in vivo attributes. (3) While the studies on RNA structure and folding can be dated decades ago, RNA nanotechnology is a unique field that is distinct from the classical studies of RNA structure and folding. Besides intra-molecular (within a molecule) interaction and folding, the special knowledge of inter-molecular (between molecules) interaction is necessary. (4) RNA nanoparticles can be purified to homogeneity and can be characterized or visualized by either chemical, physical, biophysical, or optical procedures. (5) Previously, the sensitivity of RNA to RNase degradation had been the biggest hurdle in the production of RNA for use as a construction material. Recently, simple chemical modifications, such as that with 2’-fluorine, have led to the generation of certain RNAs resistant to degradation, without changing their folding property and even their ability to retain their biological function in certain cases. (6) Finally, simply conjugating functional RNA modules to gold, liposome, dendrimer or polymer based nanoparticles does not constitute RNA nanotechnology; rather, RNA nanotechnology is bottom-up approaches to assemble nanometer scale particles with its main constituent composed of RNA.

The driving force motivating the establishment of this conference arises from the successful organization of two international conferences on RNA nanotechnology and Therapeutics in 2010 and 2013, which brought together about 200 scientists from 15 countries. This conference will encourage a cross-disciplinary approach to RNA nanotechnology research and specifically foster collaborations between scientists and engineers working in the diverse fields of chemistry, biochemistry, structural biology, microbiology, cancer biology, cell biology, biophysics, pharmacy, materials, and nanotechnology. The intent of this GRC is to promote transformative advances that will enable the monitoring and improvement of human health and the diagnosis and treatment of diseases utilizing the unique modality provided by RNA-based nanoparticles. Because of the success of the first two conferences, one can fully expect that this new GRC will attract a wide audience of outstanding scientists. The prestigious name of the Gordon Conferences will raise the profile of the topic to many other scientists who are working in this or related fields, but have not participated in previous meetings. Participants, organizers, and keynote speakers of the past RNA Nanotechnology and Therapeutics conferences have agreed that a bi-annual conference is needed to respond to the significant interest generated by previous meetings, and to effectively foster further cross-fertilization to advance the field.

Contributors

Final Meeting Program

Sunday
4:00 pm - 8:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmRNA Computation and Modeling
Discussion Leader: Bruce Shapiro (National Cancer Institute, NIH, USA)
7:40 pm - 7:50 pmOpening Remarks
7:50 pm - 7:55 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:55 pm - 8:20 pmBruce Shapiro (National Cancer Institute, NIH, USA)
"Computational Design and Experimental Verification of RNA Therapeutic Switches"
8:20 pm - 8:25 pmDiscussion
8:25 pm - 8:50 pmJanusz Bujnicki (International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Poland)
"RNA 3D Structure Modeling and Structure-Based Sequence Design"
8:50 pm - 8:55 pmDiscussion
8:55 pm - 9:20 pmShi-Jie Chen (University of Missouri, USA)
"Predicting RNA Kissing Complex Formation and Therapeutic Applications"
9:20 pm - 9:25 pmDiscussion
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
Monday
8:30 amGroup Photo
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmRNA Nanoparticles in Therapeutics
Discussion Leader: Stephanie Morris (National Cancer Institute, NIH, USA)
9:00 am - 9:05 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:05 am - 9:40 amStephanie Morris (National Cancer Institute, NIH, USA)
"NCI Support and Resources for Cancer Nanotechnology Research"
9:40 am - 9:50 amDiscussion
9:50 am - 10:25 amCarlo Croce (The Ohio State University, USA)
"Causes and Consequences of microRNA Dysregulation in Cancer"
10:25 am - 10:35 amDiscussion
10:35 am - 11:00 amCoffee Break
11:00 am - 11:35 amJudy Lieberman (Harvard Medical School, USA)
"The Silent Treatment: Knocking Down Cancer"
11:35 am - 11:45 amDiscussion
11:45 am - 12:20 pmMark Evers (University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, USA)
"Directed RNA Nanoparticle Delivery to Tumor Metastases in the Liver"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmImporting from DNA Nanotechnology
Discussion Leader: Jorgen Kjems (Aarhus University, Denmark)
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:35 pm - 8:00 pmJorgen Kjems (Aarhus University, Denmark)
"Self-Assembled Nucleic Acid Nano Structures for Cellular Signaling and Delivery"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:35 pmHao Yan (Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, USA)
"Designer DNA Architectures"
8:35 pm - 8:45 pmDiscussion
8:45 pm - 9:10 pmDennis Bong (The Ohio State University, USA)
"Bifacial Peptide Nucleic Acid: A Reporter and Allosteric Switch for RNA Function"
9:10 pm - 9:20 pmDiscussion
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
Tuesday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmStructure and Folding of RNA Nanoparticles
Discussion Leader: Eric Westhof (IBMC-CNRS, France)
9:00 am - 9:05 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:05 am - 9:30 amEric Westhof (IBMC-CNRS, France)
"RNA Puzzles: Progress in Automatic Modelling of RNA Architectures"
9:30 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 10:05 amThomas Hermann (University of California, San Diego, USA)
"Crystallography of Self-Assembling RNA Nanostructures"
10:05 am - 10:15 amDiscussion
10:15 am - 10:45 amCoffee Break
10:45 am - 11:10 amRobert Batey (University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
"Reverse Engineering of Biological Riboswitches to Create Novel and Practical Genetically-Encodable Small Molecule Sensors"
11:10 am - 11:20 amDiscussion
11:20 am - 11:45 amHirohide Saito (Kyoto University, Japan)
"Protein-Induced RNA Nanoarchitectures to Control Mammalian Cell Fate"
11:45 am - 11:55 amDiscussion
11:55 am - 12:20 pmEbbe Andersen (Aarhus University, Denmark)
"Design Principles for Single-Stranded RNA Origami Structures"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmExtracellular RNA for Therapeutic Development
Discussion Leader: Anil Sood (University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:35 pm - 8:00 pmAnil Sood (University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, USA)
"Novel Delivery Systems for ncRNA"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:35 pmHuang-Ge Zhang (University of Louisville, USA)
"Grapefruit Nanovectors Utilize an Activated Leukocyte Trafficking Pathway for Delivery of Therapeutic Extracellular miRNA to Inflammatory Sites in a Mouse Model"
8:35 pm - 8:45 pmDiscussion
8:45 pm - 9:10 pmThomas Schmittgen (The Ohio State University, USA)
"Engineered Microvesicles as Targeted Delivery Agents for Therapeutic microRNAs"
9:10 pm - 9:20 pmDiscussion
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
Wednesday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmPhysical and Chemical Approaches in RNA Nanotechnology
Discussion Leader: Carlo Montemagno (University of Alberta, Canada)
9:00 am - 9:05 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:05 am - 9:30 amPaula Hammond (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
"RNAi Microsponges and Concatenated RNA: In Vivo Applications for Cancer Therapy"
9:30 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 10:05 amFarzin Haque (University of Kentucky, USA)
"Assembly of Thermodynamically and Chemically Stable RNA Nanoparticles Escorting siRNA, Aptamer and miRNA with Independent Folding for Cancer Targeting"
10:05 am - 10:15 amDiscussion
10:15 am - 10:45 amCoffee Break
10:45 am - 11:10 amKirill Afonin (University of North Carolina, USA)
"Conditional Activation of RNAi with Nucleic Acids-Based Nanoparticles"
11:10 am - 11:20 amDiscussion
11:20 am - 11:30 amZhen Huang (Georgia State University, USA)
"Selenium-Nucleic Acids and Chemical and Structural Biology for RNA Nanotechnology"
11:30 am - 11:35 amDiscussion
11:35 am - 11:45 amShoujun Xiao (Nanjing University, China)
"DNA/RNA Nanostructures Based on Small Circular DNA Molecules"
11:45 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:00 pmHui Zhang (University of Kentucky, USA)
"Stoichiometry Quantification and Distance Measurement of RNA Nanoparticles by Single-Molecule Photobleaching and FRET"
12:00 pm - 12:05 pmDiscussion
12:05 pm - 12:15 pmMingxu You (Weill Cornell Medical College, USA)
"Modular RNA Spinach-Riboswitch Sensor for Metabolite Intracellular Imaging"
12:15 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the Next Vice Chair; Fill in Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss Future Site and Scheduling Preferences; Election of the Next Vice Chair
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmExtracellular RNA for Biomarker Development
Discussion Leader: Jan Lotvall (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:35 pm - 8:00 pmJan Lotvall (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
"The Diversity of Extracellular Vesicle Subsets and of Extracellular Vesicle RNA"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:50 pmXandra Breakefield (Harvard University / Massachusetts General Hospital, USA)
"Part I - ExRNA Consortium; Part II - Glioblastoma exRNAs - Many Forms and Destinations"
8:50 pm - 9:00 pmDiscussion
9:00 pm - 9:10 pmDavid Gamm (University of Wisconsin, USA)
"Using pRNA Nanoparticles to Advance Stem Cell-Based Therapies for Retinal Disease"
9:10 pm - 9:15 pmDiscussion
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
Thursday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmNanotechnologies Relevant to RNA Research
Discussion Leader: Xing-Jie Liang (National Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, China)
9:00 am - 9:05 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:05 am - 9:40 amCarlo Montemagno (University of Alberta, Canada)
"Molecular Recognition and Assembly: A New Tool for Solving Grand Societal Challenges"
9:40 am - 9:50 amDiscussion
9:50 am - 10:25 amPaul Rothemund (California Institute of Technology, USA)
"Integration of Nucleic Acid Nanotechnology with Microfabrication"
10:25 am - 10:35 amDiscussion
10:35 am - 11:00 amCoffee Break
11:00 am - 11:35 amJong Bum Lee (University of Seoul, South Korea)
"RNA-Based Nanovectors for Carrier-Free Nucleic Acid Drug Delivery"
11:35 am - 11:45 amDiscussion
11:45 am - 12:20 pmZicai Liang (Peking University, China)
"siRNA Drug Development Against HBV Based on Novel Lipid Nanoparticle RBP131"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmNanoimmuology and RNA Nanotechnology
Discussion Leader: David Gamm (University of Wisconsin, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:35 pm - 8:00 pmXiyun Yan (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China)
"Getting Nanoparticles Acceptable by Host Immune System"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:35 pmXing-Jie Liang (National Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, China)
"Nanobiomaterials Used as Immunological Delivery System"
8:35 pm - 8:45 pmDiscussion
8:45 pm - 9:10 pmMin Wu (University of North Dakota, USA)
"Novel Nanotechnology Approaches for Anti-Gram Negative Bacterial Infection"
9:10 pm - 9:20 pmDiscussion
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmClosing Remarks
Friday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by 1 R13 TR001194-01 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
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