Methods to spatially induce apoptosis are useful for cancer therapy. To control the induction of apoptosis, methods using light, such as photochemical internalization (PCI), have been developed. We hypothesized that photoinduced delivery of microRNAs (miRNAs) that regulate apoptosis could spatially induce apoptosis. In this study, we identified pre-miR-664a as a novel apoptosis-inducing miRNA via mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Further, we demonstrated the utility of photoinduced cytosolic dispersion of RNA (PCDR), which is an intracellular RNA delivery method based on PCI. Indeed, apoptosis is spatially regulated by pre-miR-664a and PCDR. In addition, we found that apoptosis induced by pre-miR-664a delivered by PCDR was more rapid than that by lipofection. These results suggest that pre-miR-664a is a nucleic acid drug candidate for cancer therapy and PCDR and pre-miR-664a-based strategies have potential therapeutic uses for diseases affecting various cell types.
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