Artificial cationic peptides that increase nuclease resistance of siRNA without disturbing RNAi activity

Properties of cationic peptides bearing amino or guanidino groups with various side chain lengths that bind to double stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) were investigated. Peptides with shorter side chain lengths effectively bound to dsRNAs (12mers) increasing their thermal stability. NMR measurements suggested that the cationic peptide binds to the inner side of the major groove of dsRNA. These peptides also increased the thermal stability of siRNA and effectively protected from RNase A digestion. On the other hand, both peptides containing amino groups and guanidine groups did not disturb RNAi activity.