AU2012232948B2 - Oligoribonucleotides and Methods of Use Thereof for Treatment of Alopecia, Acute Renal Failure and Other Diseases - Google Patents

Oligoribonucleotides and Methods of Use Thereof for Treatment of Alopecia, Acute Renal Failure and Other Diseases Download PDF

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AU2012232948B2
AU2012232948B2 AU2012232948A AU2012232948A AU2012232948B2 AU 2012232948 B2 AU2012232948 B2 AU 2012232948B2 AU 2012232948 A AU2012232948 A AU 2012232948A AU 2012232948 A AU2012232948 A AU 2012232948A AU 2012232948 B2 AU2012232948 B2 AU 2012232948B2
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patient
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sirna
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Shai Ehrlich
Elena Feinstein
Daniel Zurr
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Quark Biotech Inc
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Abstract

The invention relates to a double-stranded compound, preferably an oligoribonucleotide, which down-regulates the expression of a human p53 gene. The invention also relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising the compound, or a vector capable of expressing the oligoribonucleotide compound, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. The present invention also contemplates a method of treating a patient suffering from alopecia or acute renal failure or other diseases comprising administering to the patient the pharmaceutical composition in a therapeutically effective dose so as to thereby treat the patient. The alopecia may be induced by chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and the patient may be suffering from cancer, in particular breast cancer.

Description

OLIGORIBONUCLEOTIDES AND METHODS OF USE THEREOF FOR TREATMENT OF ALOPECIA, ACUTE RENAL FAILURE AND OTHER DISEASES. This application is a divisional of Australian Application No. 2005288522 filed 27 September 2005, and is related to International Application No. PCT/IL2005/001035 filed 27 September 5 2005 claiming priority from US Serial No. 60/613,991 filed 28 September 2004, No. 60/658,196 filed 2 March 2005, and No. 60/703,020 filed 26 July 2005; each of which is incorporated herein by reference. Throughout this application various patent and scientific publications are cited. The disclosures for these publications in their entireties are hereby incorporated by reference into this application 0 to more fully describe the state of the art to which this invention pertains. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION siRNAs and RNA interference RNA interference (RNAi) is a phenomenon involving double-stranded (ds) RNA-dependent gene specific posttranscriptional silencing. Originally, attempts to study this phenomenon and to 5 manipulate mammalian cells experimentally were frustrated by an active, non-specific antiviral defense mechanism which was activated in response to long dsRNA molecules; see Gil et al. 2000, Apoptosis, 5:107-114. Later it was discovered that synthetic duplexes of 21 nucleotide RNAs could mediate gene specific RNAi in mammalian cells, without the stimulation of the generic antiviral defence mechanisms (see Elbashir et al. Nature 2001, 411:494-498 and Caplen 0 et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2001, 98:9742-9747). As a result, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), which are short double-stranded RNAs, have become powerful tools in attempting to understand gene function. Thus, RNA interference (RNAi) refers to the process of sequence-specific posttranscriptional gene silencing in mammals mediated by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) (Fire et al, 1998, 25 Nature 391, 806) or microRNAs (miRNAs) (Ambros V. Nature 431:7006,350-355(2004); and Bartel DP. Cell. 2004 Jan 23; 116(2): 28 1-97 MicroRNAs: genomics, biogenesis, mechanism, and function). The corresponding process in plants is commonly referred to as specific post transcriptional gene silencing or RNA silencing and is also referred to as quelling in fungi. An siRNA is a double-stranded RNA molecule which down-regulates or silences (prevents) the 30 expression of a gene/mRNA of its endogenous (cellular) counterpart. RNA interference is based on the ability of dsRNA species to enter a specific protein complex, where it is then targeted to the complementary cellular RNA and specifically degrades it. Thus, the RNA interference response features an endonuclease complex containing an siRNA, commonly referred to as an RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), which mediates cleavage of single-stranded RNA having a sequence complementary to the antisense strand of the siRNA duplex. Cleavage of the target RNA may take place in the middle of the region complementary to the antisense strand of the siRNA duplex 5 (Elbashir et al 2001, Genes Dev., 15, 188). In more detail, longer dsRNAs are digested into short (17-29 bp) dsRNA fragments (also referred to as short inhibitory RNAs - "siRNAs") by type III RNAses (DICER, DROSHA, etc., Bernstein et al., Nature, 2001, v.409, p.363-6; Lee et al., Nature, 2003, 425, p.415-9). The RISC protein complex recognizes these fragments and complementary mRNA. The whole process is culminated by endonuclease cleavage of 10 target mRNA (McManus&Sharp, Nature Rev Genet, 2002, v.3, p.737-47; Paddison &Hannon, Curr Opin Mol Ther. 2003 Jun; 5(3): 217-24). For information on these terms and proposed mechanisms, see Bernstein E., Denli AM. Hannon GJ: 2001 The rest is silence. RNA. I; 7(11): 1509-21; Nishikura K.: 2001 A short primer on RNAi: RNA-directed RNA polymerase acts as a key catalyst. Cell. I 16; 107(4): 415-8 and PCT publication WO 15 01/36646 (Glover et al). The selection and synthesis of siRNA corresponding to known genes has been widely reported; see for example Chalk AM, Wahlestedt C, Sonnhammer EL. 2004 Improved and automated prediction of effective siRNA Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. Jun 18; 319(1): 20 264-74; Sioud M, Leirdal M., 2004, Potential design rules and enzymatic synthesis of siRNAs, Methods Mol Biol.; 252:457-69; Levenkova N, Gu Q, Rux JJ. 2004 ,Gene specific siRNA selector Bioinformatics. I 12; 20(3): 430-2. and Ui-Tei K, Naito Y, Takahashi F, Haraguchi T, Ohki-Hamazaki H, Juni A, Ueda R, Saigo K., Guidelines for the selection of highly effective siRNA sequences for mammalian and chick RNA interference Nucleic Acids 25 Res. 2004 I 9;32(3):936-48.Se also Liu Y, Braasch DA, Nulf CJ, Corey DR. Efficient and isoform-selective inhibition of cellular gene expression by peptide nucleic acids, Biochemistry, 2004 I 24;43(7):1921-7. See also PCT publications WO 2004/015107 (Atugen) and WO 02/44321 (Tuschl et al), and also Chiu YL, Rana TM. siRNA function in RNAi: a chemical modification analysis, RNA 2003 Sep;9(9):1034-48 and I Patent Nos.5898031 and 30 6107094 (Crooke) for production of modified/ more stable siRNAs. Several groups have described the development of DNA-based vectors capable of generating siRNA within cells. The method generally involves transcription of short hairpin RNAs that are efficiently processed to form siRNAs within cells. Paddison et al. PNAS 2002, 99:1443 2 1448; Paddison et al. Genes & Dev 2002, 16:948-958; Sui et al. PNAS 2002, 8:5515-5520; and Brummelkamp et al. Science 2002, 296:550-553. These reports describe methods to generate siRNAs capable of specifically targeting numerous endogenously and exogenously expressed genes. 5 siRNA has recently been successfully used for inhibition in primates; for further details see Tolentino et al., Retina 24(1) February 2004 1 132-138. 10 The P53 gene and polypeptide The human p53 gene is a well-known and highly studied gene. The p53 polypeptide plays a key role in cellular stress response mechanisms by converting a variety of different stimuli, for example DNA damaging conditions, such as gamma-irradiation, deregulation of transcription or replication, and oncogene transformation, into cell growth arrest or apoptosis 15 (Gottlieb et al,1996, Biochem.Biophys. Acta, 1287, p.77). The p53 polypeptide is essential for the induction of programmed cell death or "apoptosis" as a response to such stimuli. Most anti-cancer therapies damage or kill also normal cells that contain native p53, causing severe side effects associated with the damage or death of healthy cells. Since such side effects are to a great extent determined by p53-mediated death of normal cells, the temporary 20 suppression of p53 during the acute phase of anti-cancer therapy has been suggested as a therapeutic strategy to avoid these severe toxic events. This was described in US Patent No. 6,593,353 and in Komarov PG et al , 1999, A chemical inhibitor of p 5 3 that protects mice from the side effects of cancer therapy., Science , 285(5434):1651, 1653. p53 has been shown to be involved in chemotherapy and radiation-induced alopecia.(Botcharev et al, 2000, p53 is 25 essentialfor Chemotherapy -induced Hair Loss, Cancer Research, 60, 5002-5006). Alopecia Recently there have been dramatic advances in the understanding of the molecules and pathways regulating hair follicle formation and hair growth. Chemotherapy disrupts the 30 proliferation of matrix keratinocytes in the growth bulb that produce the hair shaft. This forces hair follicles to enter a dystrophic regression stage in which the integrity of the hair shaft is compromised and the hair then breaks and falls out. Because more than 90% of scalp follicles are in growth stage at any one time, these hairs are rapidly lost after chemotherapy, and thus the alopecia is rapid and extensive (George Cotsarelis and Sarah E. Millar, 3 2001,Towards a molecular understanding of hair loss and its treatment, TRENDS in Molecular Medicine Vol.7 No.7). Chemotherapy drugs most likely to cause hair loss are: Cisplatinum, Cytarabine, Cyclophosphamide, Doxorubicin, Epirubicin, Etoposide, Ifosfamide and Vincristine. Radiation induced general alopecia is observed in virtually 100% of patients 5 who receive whole brain radiation (WBR), particularly of 3000 rad and above. Hair loss is one of the most feared side effects of chemotherapy among patients with cancer, even although hair lost following chemotherapy does eventually re-grow. From the patient's perspective, hair loss (alopecia) ranks second only to nausea as a distressing side effect of 10 chemotherapy. About 75% of patients describe chemotherapy induced hair loss as equal to or more devastating than the pain caused by cancer. Thus, although hair disorders are not life threatening, their profound impact on social interactions and on the psychological well-being of patients is undeniable. The demand for 15 treatments for hair loss fuels a multi-billion dollar industry. Despite this, most currently marketed products are ineffective, evidenced by the fact that the FDA has approved only two treatments for hair loss. None of the known therapies or remedies is effective on cancer therapy-induced alopecia. 20 Acute renal failure (ARF). ARF is a clinical syndrome characterized by rapid deterioration of renal function that occurs within days. The principal feature of ARF is an abrupt decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR), resulting in the retention of nitrogenous wastes (urea, creatinine). In the general world 25 population 170-200 cases of severe ARF per million population occur annually. To date, there is no specific treatment for established ARF. Several drugs have been found to ameliorate toxic and ischemic experimental ARF, as manifested by lower serum creatinine levels, reduced histological damage and faster recovery of renal function in different animal models. These include anti-oxidants, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, vasoactive 30 substances, growth factors, anti-inflammatory agents and more. However, those drugs that have been studied in clinical trials showed no benefit, and their use in clinical ARF has not been approved. 4 In the majority of hospitalized patients, ARF is caused by acute tubular necrosis (ATN), which results from ischemic and/or nephrotoxic insults. Renal hypoperfusion is caused by hypovolemic, cardiogenic and septic shock, by administration of vasoconstrictive drugs or renovascular injury. Nephrotoxins include exogenous toxins such as contrast media and 5 aminoglycosides as well as endogenous toxin such as myoglobin. Recent studies, however, support that apoptosis in renal tissues is prominent in most human cases of ARF. The principal site of apoptotic cell death is the distal nephron. During the initial phase of ischemic injury, loss of integrity of the actin cytoskeleton leads to flattening of the epithelium, with loss of the brush border, loss of focal cell contacts, and subsequent disengagement of the cell 10 from the underlying substratum. It has been suggested that apoptotic tubule cell death may be more predictive of functional changes than necrotic cell death (Komarov et al. Science. 1999 Sep 10;285(5434):1733-7); see also (Supavekin et al. Kidney Int. 2003 May;63(5):1714-24). In conclusion, currently there are no satisfactory modes of therapy for the prevention and/or treatment of toxic alopecia and of acute renal failure, nor are there a satisfactory mode of 15 therapy for many other diseases and disorders which are accompanied by an elevated level of p53 polypeptide, and there is a need therefore to develop novel compounds for this purpose. 5 SUNMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention provides novel double stranded oligoribonucleotides that inhibit the p53 gene. The invention also provides a pharmaceutical composition comprising one or more such 5 oligoribonucleotides, and a vector capable of expressing the oligoribonucleotide. The present invention also provides a method of treating a patient suffering from a disease in which temporary (reversible) inhibition of p53 activity is beneficial comprising administering to the patient one or more oligoribonucleotides typically as a pharmaceutical composition, in a therapeutically effective dose so as to thereby treat the patient. The present invention also 10 contemplates treating other disorders which are accompanied by an elevated level of p53 polypeptide. Since long-term p53 inactivation can significantly increase the risk of cancer, it is preferred that the inhibition of p53 using the molecules of the present invention will be temporary. 15 In one preferred embodiment, the novel siRNA molecules disclosed herein may be used in the treatment of tumors in cases where temporary suppression of p53 using the p53 siRNA would be beneficial along with convential chemotherapy (as described herein) or radiotherapy. For example, the novel siRNA molecules disclosed herein would protect normal p53-containing cells from chemotherapy or radiotherapy-induced apoptosis. The 20 novel siRNA molecules disclosed herein may also be used for inhibition of p53 expression in specific cancer cells in cases where p53 inhibition potentiates apoptotic cell death in these cells. Specifically, radiation therapy and chemotherapy may cause severe side effects, such as severe damage to the lymphoid and hematopoietic system and intestinal epithelia, which limit the effectiveness of these therapies, and may cause hair loss which causes psychological 25 distress. These side effects are caused by p53-mediated apoptosis. Therefore, to eliminate or reduce adverse side effects associated with cancer treatment, it would be beneficial to induce temporary inhibition of p53 activity in normal cells using the siRNA molecules of the present invention, thereby protecting normal tissue. 30 In another preferred embodiment, the novel siRNA molecules disclosed herein may be used in the treatment of acute renal failure (ARF), which is characterized by rapid deterioration of renal function associated with apoptotic cell death in the renal tissue. 6 The novel siRNA molecules disclosed herein may also be used in other conditions in which p53 is activated as a consequence of a variety of stresses associated with injuries such as a burn, hyperthermia, hypoxia associated with a blocked blood supply such as in myocardial infraction, stroke, and ischemia. Temporary p53 inhibition using the siRNA molecules of the present invention 5 can be therapeutically effective in reducing or eliminating p53-dependent neuronal death in the central nervous system, i.e., brain and spinal cord injury, the preservation of tissues and organs prior to transplanting, preparation of a host for a bone marrow transplant, and reducing or eliminating neuronal damage during a seizure. p53 also plays a role in cell aging. In particular, morphological and physiological alterations of 10 normal tissues associated with aging may be related to p53 activity. Senescent cells that accumulate in tissues over time are known to maintain very high levels of p53-dependent transcription. p53 dependent secretion of growth inhibitors by senescent cells accumulate in aging tissue. Thus, the siRNA molecules disclosed herein may also be used in suppression of tissue aging. Definitions of the specific embodiments of the invention as claimed herein follow. 15 According to a first embodiment of the invention, there is provided a double-stranded RNA compound having antisense strand sequence SEQ ID NO: 28 5' AGUAGUUUCCAUAGGUCUG 3'; and sense strand sequence SEQ ID NO: 5: 5' CAGACCUAUGGAAACUACU 3'. According to a second embodiment of the invention, there is provided a pharmaceutical Z0 composition comprising the double-stranded RNA compound of the first embodiment in an amount effective to down-regulate expression of a human p53 gene; and a carrier. According to a third embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of treating a patient suffering from a disorder, the method comprising administering to the patient in need thereof a compound according to the first embodiment or a pharmaceutical composition according to the 25 second embodiment. According to a fourth embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of improving graft tissue survival following transplantation, the method comprising administering to a patient in need thereof a compound according to the first embodiment or a pharmaceutical composition according to the second embodiment. 30 According to a fifth embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of eliminating neuronal damage during a seizure, the method comprising administering to a patient in need thereof 7 a compound according to the first embodiment or a pharmaceutical composition according to the second embodiment. According to a sixth embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of preservation of donor organs/tissues before transplantation, the method comprising administering to a patient in 5 need thereof a compound according to the first embodiment or a pharmaceutical composition according to the second embodiment. According to a seventh embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem cells, the method comprising administering to a patient in need thereof a compound according to the first embodiment or a pharmaceutical composition .0 according to the second embodiment. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES Figure 1. This figure represents the nucleotide sequence of the human p53 gene- SEQ ID NO: 1. Figure 2. This figure represents the amino acid sequence of the human p53 polypeptide .5 SEQ ID NO:2. Figure 3. This figure shows Western Blot results demonstrating the effect of various human p53 siRNAs on p53 expression. Figure 4. This figure shows Western Blot results demonstrating the effect of various mouse p53 siRNAs on p53 expression. 20 Figure 5. This figure shows the level of serum creatinine as an indication for acute renal failure in animals that underwent bilateral kidney arterial clamp and were treated with p53 siRNA compound or a control, as indicated. [Text continues on page 8.] 7a Figure 6. This figure shows the extent of tubular necrosis in renal tissue in animals that underwent bilateral kidney arterial clamp and were treated with the p53 siRNA compound. Figure 7. This figure demonstrates that p5 3 siRNA treatment down-regulated the 5 expression of the pro-apoptotic gene Puma in the cortical compartment of the kidney in animal subjected to ischemia-reperfusion kidney injury. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION 10 The present invention relates generally to compounds which down-regulate expression of the p53 gene particularly to novel small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), and to the use of these novel siRNAs in the treatment of various diseases and medical conditions in particular alopecia or acute renal failure or a disorder accompanied by an elevated level of p53 polypeptide. 15 The inventors of the present invention have found that it is beneficial to induce temporary inhibition of p53 in order to treat any of said diseases or disorders. Methods, molecules and compositions which inhibit p53 are discussed herein at length, and any of said molecules and/or compositions may be beneficially employed in the treatment of a patient suffering from any of said conditions. 20 The present invention provides methods and compositions for inhibiting expression of a target p53 gene in vivo. In general, the method includes administering oligoribonucleotides, such as small interfering RNAs (i.e., siRNAs) that are targeted to a particular p53 mRNA and hybridize to, or interact with, the mRNAs under biological conditions (within the cell), or a nucleic acid material that can produce siRNA in a cell, in an amount sufficient to down 25 regulate expression of a target gene by an RNA interference mechanism. In particular, the subject method can be used to inhibit expression of the p53 gene for treatment of a disease. In accordance with the present invention, the siRNA molecules or inhibitors of the p53 gene may be used as drugs to treat various pathologies in particular alopecia or acute renal failure or other disorders accompanied by an elevated level of p53 polypeptide. Since long-term p53 30 inactivation can significantly increase the risk of cancer, it is preferred that the inhibition of p53 using the molecules of the present invention be temporary / reversible. 8 The present invention provides double-stranded oligoribonucleotides (siRNAs), which down-regulate the expression of the p53 gene. An siRNA of the invention is a duplex oligoribonucleotide in which the sense strand is derived from the mRNA sequence of the p53 5 gene, and the antisense strand is complementary to the sense strand. In general, some deviation from the target mRNA sequence is tolerated without compromising the siRNA activity (see e.g. Czauderna et al 2003 Nucleic Acids Research 31(11), 2705-2716). An siRNA of the invention inhibits gene expression on a post-transcriptional level with or without destroying the mRNA. Without being bound by theory, siRNA may target the mRNA 10 for specific cleavage and degradation and/ or may inhibit translation from the targeted message. There are at least four variant p53 polypeptides (see Bourdon et al. Genes Dev..2005; 19: 2122-2137). The sequence given in Figure 1 is the nucleotide sequence of gi-8400737. The 15 corresponding polypeptide sequence has 393 amino acids; see Figure 2. All variants and any other similar minor variants are included in the definition of p53 polypeptide and in the definition of the p53 genes encoding them. As used herein, the term "p53 gene" is defined as any homolog of the p53 gene having 20 preferably 90% homology, more preferably 95% homology, and even more preferably 98% homology to the amino acid encoding region of SEQ ID NO: 1 or nucleic acid sequences which bind to the p53 gene under conditions of highly stringent hybridization, which are well-known in the art (for example, see Ausubel et al., Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, John Wiley and Sons, Baltimore, Maryland (1988), updated in 1995 and 1998. 25 As used herein, the term "p53", or "p53 polypeptide" is defined as any homolog of the p53 polypeptide having preferably 90% homology, more preferably 95% homology, and even more preferably 98% homology to SEQ ID NO:2, as either full-length or a fragment or a domain thereof, as a mutant or the polypeptide encoded by a spliced variant nucleic acid 30 sequence, as a chimera with other polypeptides, provided that any of the above has the same or substantially the same biological function as the p53 polypeptide. Generally, the siRNAs used in the present invention comprise a ribonucleic acid comprising a double stranded structure, whereby the double-stranded structure comprises a first strand and 9 a second strand, whereby the first strand comprises a first stretch of contiguous nucleotides and whereby said first stretch is at least partially complementary to a target nucleic acid, and the second strand comprises a second stretch of contiguous nucleotides and whereby said second stretch is at least partially identical to a target nucleic acid, whereby said first strand 5 and/or said second strand comprises a plurality of groups of modified nucleotides having a modification at the 2'-position whereby within the strand each group of modified nucleotides is flanked on one or both sides by a flanking group of nucleotides whereby the flanking nucleotides forming the flanking group of nucleotides is either an unmodified nucleotide or a nucleotide having a modification different from the modification of the modified nucleotides. 10 Further, said first strand and/or said second strand may comprise said plurality of modified nucleotides and may comprises said plurality of groups of modified nucleotides. The group of modified nucleotides and/or the group of flanking nucleotides may comprise a number of nucleotides whereby the number is selected from the group comprising one nucleotide to 10 nucleotides. In connection with any ranges specified herein it is to be 15 understood that each range discloses any individual integer between the respective figures used to define the range including said two figures defining said range. In the present case the group thus comprises one nucleotide, two nucleotides, three nucleotides, four nucleotides, five nucleotides, six nucleotides, seven nucleotides, eight nucleotides, nine nucleotides and ten nucleotides. 20 The pattern of modified nucleotides of said first strand may be shifted by one or more nucleotides relative to the pattern of modified nucleotides of the second strand. The modifications discussed above may be selected from the group comprising amino, fluoro, methoxy alkoxy, alkyl, amino, fluoro, chloro, bromo, CN, CF, imidazole, caboxylate, thioate, C, to CIO lower alkyl, substituted lower alkyl, alkaryl or aralkyl, OCF 3 , OCN, 0-, S-, or N 25 alkyl; 0-, S-, or N-alkenyl; SOCH 3 ; SO 2

CH

3 ; ON0 2 ; NO 2 , N 3 ; heterozycloalkyl; heterozycloalkaryl; aminoalkylamino; polyalkylamino or substituted silyl, as, among others, described in European patents EP 0 586 520 BI or EP 0 618 925 Bl. The double stranded structure of the siRNA may be blunt ended, on one or both sides. More specifically, the double stranded structure may be blunt ended on the double stranded 30 structure's side which is defined by the 5'- end of the first strand and the 3'-end of the second 10 strand, or the double stranded structure may be blunt ended on the double stranded structure's side which is defined by at the 3'-end of the first strand and the 5'-end of the second strand. Additionally, at least one of the two strands may have an overhang of at least one nucleotide at the 5-end; the overhang may consist of at least one deoxyribonucleotide. At least one of the 5 strands may also optionally have an overhang of at least one nucleotide at the 3'-end. The length of the double-stranded structure of the siRNA is typically from about 17 to 21 and more preferably 18 or 19 bases. Further, the length of said first strand and/or the length of said second strand may independently from each other be selected from the group comprising the ranges of from about 15 to about 23 bases, 17 to 21 bases and 18 or 19 bases. 10 Additionally, the complementarily between said first strand and the target nucleic acid may be perfect, or the duplex formed between the first strand and the target nucleic acid may comprise at least 15 nucleotides wherein there is one mismatch or two mismatches between said first strand and the target nucleic acid forming said double-stranded structure. In some cases both the first strand and the second strand each comprise at least one group of 15 modified nucleotides and at least one flanking group of nucleotides, whereby each group of modified nucleotides comprises at least one nucleotide and whereby each flanking group of nucleotides comprising at least one nucleotide with each group of modified nucleotides of the first strand being aligned with a flanking group of nucleotides on the second strand, whereby the most terminal 5' nucleotide of the first strand is a nucleotide of the group of modified 20 nucleotides, and the most terminal 3' nucleotide of the second strand is a nucleotide of the flanking group of nucleotides. Each group of modified nucleotides may consist of a single nucleotide and/or each flanking group of nucleotides may consist of a single nucleotide. Additionally, it is possible that on the first strand the nucleotide forming the flanking group of nucleotides is an unmodified nucleotide which is arranged in a 3' direction relative to the 25 nucleotide forming the group of modified nucleotides, and on the second strand the nucleotide forming the group of modified nucleotides is a modified nucleotide which is arranged in 5' direction relative to the nucleotide forming the flanking group of nucleotides. I1 Further the first strand of the siRNA may comprise eight to twelve, preferably nine to eleven, groups of modified nucleotides, and the second strand may comprise seven to eleven, preferably eight to ten, groups of modified nucleotides. The first strand and the second strand may be linked by a loop structure, which may be 5 comprised of a non-nucleic acid polymer such as, inter alia, polyethylene glycol. Alternatively, the loop structure may be comprised of a nucleic acid. Further, the 5'-terminus of the first strand of the siRNA may be linked to the 3'-terminus of the second strand, or the 3'-end of the first strand may be linked to the 5'-terminus of the second strand, said linkage being via a nucleic acid linker typically having a length between 10-2000 10 nucleobases. In particular, the invention provides a compound having structure A: 5' (N), - Z 3' (antisense strand) 15 3' Z'-(N')y 5' (sense strand) wherein each N and N' is a ribonucleotide which may be modified or unmodified in its sugar residue and (N), and (N')y is oligomer in which each consecutive N or N' is joined to the next N or N' by a covalent bond; 20 wherein each of x and y is an integer between 19 and 40; wherein each of Z and Z' may be present or absent, but if present is dTdT and is covalently attached at the 3' terminus of the strand in which it is present; 25 and wherein the sequence of (N). comprises an antisense sequence to mRNA of p53 in particular any of the antisense sequences present in any of Tables A, B and C. It will be readily understood by those skilled in the art that the compounds of the present 30 invention consist of a plurality of nucleotides, which are linked through covalent linkages. Each such covalent linkage may be a phosphodiester linkage, a phosphothioate linkage, or a combination of both, along the length of the nucleotide sequence of the individual strand. Other possible backbone modifications are described inter alia in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,587,361; 6,242,589; 6,277,967; 6,326,358; 5,399,676; 5,489,677; and 5,596,086. 35 12 In particular embodiments, x and y are preferably an integer between about 19 to about 27, most preferably from about 19 to about 23. In a particular embodiment of the compound of the invention, x may be equal to y (viz., x = y) and in preferred embodiments x = y = 19 or x y = 21. In a particularly preferred embodiment x = y = 19. 5 In one embodiment of the compound of the invention, Z and Z' are both absent; in another embodiment one of Z or Z' is present. In one embodiment of the compound of the invention, all of the ribonucleotides of the 10 compound are unmodified in their sugar residues. In preferred embodiments of the compound of the invention, at least one ribonucleotide is modified in its sugar residue, preferably a modification at the 2' position. The modification at the 2' position results in the presence of a moiety which is preferably selected from the group 15 comprising amino, fluoro, methoxy, alkoxy and alkyl groups. In a presently most preferred embodiment the moiety at the 2' position is methoxy (2'-O-methyl). In preferred embodiments of the invention, alternating ribonucleotides are modified in both the antisense and the sense strands of the compound. In particular the siRNA used in the 20 Examples has been such modified such that a 2' O-Me group was present on the first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth, eleventh, thirteenth, fifteenth, seventeenth and nineteenth nucleotide of the antisense strand, whereby the very same modification, i. e. a 2'-O-Me group was present at the second, fourth, sixth, eighth, tenth, twelfth, fourteenth, sixteenth and eighteenth nucleotide of the sense strand. Additionally, it is to be noted that the in case of these 25 particular nucleic acids according to the present invention the first stretch is identical to the first strand and the second stretch is identical to the second strand and these nucleic acids are also blunt ended. In a particularly preferred embodiment the sequence of the siRNA is that of 15 in Table A. 30 According to one preferred embodiment of the invention, the antisense and the sense strands of the siRNA molecule are both phophorylated only at the 3'-terminus and not at the 5' terminus. According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the antisense and the sense strands are both non-phophorylated both at the 3'-terminus and also at the 5'-terminus. According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the l' nucleotide in the 5' 13 position in the sense strand is specifically modified to abolish any possibility of in vivo 5' phosphorylation. In another embodiment of the compound of the invention, the ribonucleotides at the 5' and 3' 5 termini of the antisense strand are modified in their sugar residues, and the ribonucleotides at the 5' and 3' termini of the sense strand are unmodified in their sugar residues. The invention further provides a vector capable of expressing any of the aforementioned oligoribonucleotides in unmodified form in a cell after which appropriate modification may 10 be made. The invention also provides a composition comprising one or more of the compounds of the invention in a carrier, preferably a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. This composition may comprise a mixture of two or more different siRNAs. 15 The invention also provides a composition which comprises the above compound of the invention covalently or non-covalently bound to one or more compounds of the invention in an amount effective to inhibit human p53 and a carrier. This composition may be processed intracellularly by endogenous cellular complexes to produce one or more 20 oligoribonucleotides of the invention. The invention also provides a composition comprising a carrier and one or more of the compounds of the invention in an amount effective to down-regulate expression in a cell of a human p53, which compound comprises a sequence substantially complementary to the 25 sequence of (N),. Additionally the invention provides a method of down-regulating the expression of gene p53 by at least 50% as compared to a control comprising contacting an mRNA transcript of gene p53 with one or more of the compounds of the invention. 30 In one embodiment the oligoribonucleotide is down-regulating p53, whereby the down regulation of p53 is selected from the group comprising down-regulation of p53 function, down-regulation of p53 polypeptide and down-regulation of p53 mRNA expression. 14 In one embodiment the compound is down-regulating a p53 polypeptide, whereby the down regulation of p53 is selected from the group comprising down-regulation of p53 function (which may be examined by an enzymatic assay or a binding assay with a known interactor of the native gene / polypeptide, inter alia), down-regulation of p53 protein (which may be 5 examined by Western blotting, ELISA or immuno-precipitation, inter alia) and down regulation of p53 mRNA expression (which may be examined by Northern blotting, quantitative RT-PCR, in-situ hybridisation or microarray hybridisation, inter alia). The invention also provides a method of treating a patient suffering from a disease 10 accompanied by an elevated level of p53 polypeptide, the method comprising administering to the patient a composition of the invention in a therapeutically effective dose thereby treating the patient. Preferably, the present invention provides a method of treating a patient suffering from a disease in which temporary inhibition of p53 is beneficial. In one preferred embodiment, the compositions of the present invention are used for the treatment of tumors 15 along with the conventional chemotherpy or radiotherapy in order to prevent the alopecia associated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In another preferred embodiment, the compositions of the present invention are used for the treatment of acute renal failure. In yet another preferred embodiment, the compositions of the present invention are used in conditions in which p53 is activated as a consequence of a variety of stresses associated with 20 injuries such as a burn, hyperthermia, hypoxia associated with a blocked blood supply such as in myocardial infraction, stroke, and ischemia. Temporary p53 inhibition using the siRNA molecules of the present invention can be therapeutically effective in reducing or eliminating p53-dependent neuronal death in the central nervous system, i.e., brain and spinal cord injury, in preserving of tissue and an organ prior to transplanting, preparation of a host for a bone 25 marrow transplant, reducing or eliminating neuronal damage during a seizure and in suppressing tissue aging. The invention also provides a use of a therapeutically effective dose of one or more compounds of the invention for the preparation of a composition for the treatment of a disease accompanied by an elevated level of p53 polypeptide, such as in a patient suffering 30 from alopecia or acute renal failure. More particularly, the invention provides an oligoribonucleotide wherein one strand comprises consecutive nucleotides having, from 5' to 3', the sequence set forth in SEQ ID 15 NOS: 3-25 (Table A, sense strands) or in SEQ ID NOS: 49-119 (Table B, sense strands) or in SEQ ID NOS: 191-253 (Table C, sense strands) or a homolog thereof wherein in up to 2 of the nucleotides in each terminal region a base is altered. The terminal region of the oligonucleotide refers to bases 1-4 and/or 16-19 in the 19-mer 5 sequence and to bases 1-4 and/or 18-21 in the 21-mer sequence. Additionally, the invention provides oligoribonucleotides wherein one strand comprises consecutive nucleotides having, from 5' to 3', the sequence set forth SEQ ID NOS: 26-48 (Table A, antisense strands) or SEQ ID NOS: 120-190 (Table B, antisense strands) or SEQ 10 ID NOS: 254-316 (Table C, antisense strands) or a homolog thereof wherein in up to 2 of the nucleotides in each terminal region a base is altered. The preferred oligonucleotides of the invention are human p53 oligonucleotides serial numbers 3, 5, 20 and 23 in Table D and mouse p53 oligonucleotides serial numbers I 15 11,12,14,17 and 18 in Table E. These are identical to serial numbers 3, 5, 20 and 23 (human) and also 11,12,14,17 and 18 (mouse) in Table A. The most preferred oligonucleotides of the invention are human p53 oligonucleotides having the sequence of serial number 23 in Table A. 20 The presently most preferred compound of the invention is a blunt-ended 19-mer oligonucleotide, i.e. x=y= 19 and Z and Z' are both absent. The oligonucleotide molecule is either phosphorylated at 3' termini of both sense and anti-sense strands, or non-phosphorylated at all; or having 1' nucleotide in the 5' position on the sense strand specifically modified to abolish any possibility of in vivo 5'-phosphorylation. The alternating ribonucleotides are modified at the 2' 25 position in both the antisense and the sense strands, wherein the moiety at the 2' position is methoxy (2'-0-methyl) and wherein the ribonucleotides at the 5' and 3' termini of the antisense strand are modified in their sugar residues, and the ribonucleotides at the 5' and 3' termini of the sense strand are unmodified in their sugar residues. The presently most preferred such compounds are such modified oligonucleotides comprising the sequences 30 having serial number 23 in Table A. In one aspect of the invention the oligonucleotide comprises a double-stranded structure, whereby such double-stranded structure comprises a first strand and a second strand, whereby 16 the first strand comprises a first stretch of contiguous nucleotides and the second strand comprises a second stretch of contiguous nucleotides, whereby 5 the first stretch is either complementary or identical to a nucleic acid sequence coding for p53 and whereby the second stretch is either identical or complementary to a nucleic acid sequence coding for p 5 3. In an embodiment the first stretch and /or the second stretch comprises from about 14 to 40 10 nucleotides, preferably about 18 to 30 nucleotides, more preferably from about 19 to 27 nucleotides and most preferably from about 19 to 23 nucleotides, in particular from about 19 to 21 nucleotides. In such an embodiment the oligonucleotide may be from 17-40 nucleotides in length. 15 Additionally, further nucleic acids according to the present invention comprise at least 14 contiguous nucleotides of any one of the polynucleotides in the Tables and more preferably 14 contiguous nucleotide base pairs at any end of the double-stranded structure comprised of the first stretch and second stretch as described above. 20 In an embodiment the first stretch comprises a sequence of at least 14 contiguous nucleotides of an oligonucleotide, whereby such oligonucleotide is selected from the group comprising SEQ. ID. Nos 3-316, preferably from the group comprising the oligoribonucleotides of having the sequence of any of the serial numbers 3 , 5 , 20 or 23 (human) or having the sequence of any of the serial numbers 11, 12, 14, 17 and 18 (mouse) in Table A, more 25 preferably selected from the group having the sequence of any of the serial numbers 3, 5, 20 or 23 in Table A. Additionally, further nucleic acids according to the present invention comprise at least 14 contiguous nucleotides of any one of the SEQ. ID. NO. 3 to 316, and more preferably 14 30 contiguous nucleotide base pairs at any end of the double-stranded structure comprised of the first stretch and second stretch as described above. It will be understood by one skilled in the art that given the potential length of the nucleic acid according to the present invention and particularly of the individual stretches forming such nucleic acid according to the present invention, some shifts relative to the coding sequence of p53 to each side is possible, 17 whereby such shifts can be up to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 nucleotides in both directions, and whereby the thus generated double-stranded nucleic acid molecules shall also be within the present invention. 5 Delivery: Delivery systems aimed specifically at the enhanced and improved delivery of siRNA into mammalian cells have been developed, see, for example, Shen et al (FEBS letters 539: 111-114 (2003)), Xia et al., Nature Biotechnology 20: 1006-1010 (2002), Reich et al., Molecular Vision 9: 210-216 (2003), Sorensen et al. (J.Mol.Biol. 327: 761-766 (2003), Lewis et al., Nature Genetics 32: 107-108 (2002) and Simeoni et al., Nucleic Acids Research 31, 11: 10 2717-2724 (2003). siRNA has recently been successfully used for inhibition in primates; for further details see Tolentino et al., Retina 24(1) February 2004 1 132-138. Respiratory formulations for siRNA are described in U.S. patent application No. 2004/0063654 of Davis et al. Cholesterol-conjugated siRNAs (and other steroid and lipid conjugated siRNAs) can been used for delivery see Soutschek et al Nature 432: 173-177(2004) Therapeutic silencing 15 of an endogenous gene by systemic administration of modified siRNAs; and Lorenz et al. Bioorg. Med. Chemistry. Lett. 14:4975-4977 (2004) Steroid and lipid conjugates of siRNAs to enhance cellular uptake and gene silencing in liver cells. The siRNAs or pharmaceutical compositions of the present invention are administered and dosed in accordance with good medical practice, taking into account the clinical condition of 20 the individual patient, the disease to be treated, the site and method of administration, scheduling of administration, patient age, sex, body weight and other factors known to medical practitioners. The "therapeutically effective dose" for purposes herein is thus determined by such considerations as are known in the art. The dose must be effective to achieve improvement 25 including but not limited to improved survival rate or more rapid recovery, or improvement or elimination of symptoms and other indicators as are selected as appropriate measures by those skilled in the art. The compounds of the present invention can be administered by any of the conventional routes of administration. It should be noted that the compound can be administered as the compound or as pharmaceutically acceptable salt and can be administered 30 alone or as an active ingredient in combination with pharmaceutically acceptable carriers, solvents, diluents, excipients, adjuvants and vehicles. The compounds can be administered orally, subcutaneously or parenterally including intravenous, intraarterial, intramuscular, intraperitoneally, and intranasal administration as well as intrathecal and infusion techniques. 18 Implants of the compounds are also useful. Liquid forms may be prepared for injection, the term including subcutaneous, transdermal, intravenous, intramuscular, intrathecal, and other parental routes of administration. The liquid compositions include aqueous solutions, with and without organic co-solvents, aqueous or oil suspensions, emulsions with edible oils, as 5 well as similar pharmaceutical vehicles. In addition, under certain circumstances the compositions for use in the novel treatments of the present invention may be formed as aerosols, for intranasal and like administration. The patient being treated is a warm-blooded animal and, in particular, mammals including man. The pharmaceutically acceptable carriers, solvents, diluents, excipients, adjuvants and vehicles as well as implant carriers generally 10 refer to inert, non-toxic solid or liquid fillers, diluents or encapsulating material not reacting with the active ingredients of the invention and they include liposomes and microspheres. Examples of delivery systems useful in the present invention include U. S. Patent Nos. 5,225,182; 5,169,383; 5,167,616; 4,959,217; 4,925,678; 4,487,603; 4,486,194; 4,447,233; 4,447,224; 4,439,196; and 4,475,196. Many other such implants, delivery systems, and 15 modules are well known to those skilled in the art. In one specific embodiment of this invention topical and transdermal formulations are particularly preferred. In general, the active dose of compound for humans is in the range of from I ng/kg to about 20-100 mg/kg body weight per day, preferably about 0.01 mg to about 2-10 mg/kg body weight per day, in a regimen of one dose per day or twice or three or more times per day for a 20 period of 1-4 weeks or longer. It is noted that the delivery of the siRNA compounds according to the present invention to the target cells in the kidney proximal tubules is particularily effective in the treatment of acute renal failure. Without being bound by theory, this may be due to the fact that normally siRNA molecules are excreted from the body via the cells of the kidney proximal tubules. Thus, 25 naked siRNA molecules are naturally concentrated in the cells that are targeted for the therapy in acute renal failure. The term "treatment" as used herein refers to administration of a therapeutic substance 30 effective to ameliorate symptoms associated with a disease, to lessen the severity or cure the disease, or to prevent the disease from occurring. 19 In a particular embodiment, the administration comprises intravenous administration. In another particular embodiment the administration comprises topical or local administration Another aspect of the invention is a method of treating a patient suffering from alopecia or 5 acute renal failure or a disorder which is accompanied by an elevated level of p53 polypeptide, comprising administering to the patient a pharmaceutical composition of the invention in a therapeutically effective amount so as to thereby treat the patient. In a preferred embodiment for treatment of alopecia, the administration comprises topical or 10 local administration. In another preferred embodiment the administration comprises transdermal administration. In a particular embodiment the pharmaceutical composition is applied to the scalp of the patient. In a preferred embodiment for treatment of ARF, the administration comprises intravenous, intra-arterial or intra-peritoneal administration 15 Another aspect of the invention is a method of preventing alopecia in a patient undergoing treatment which causes alopecia, comprising administering to the patient a pharmaceutical composition of the invention in a therapeutically effective amount so as to thereby treat the patient. 20 In another aspect of the invention a pharmaceutical composition is provided which comprises any of the above oligoribonucleotides (SEQ ID NOS: 3-316) or vectors and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. Another aspect of the invention is the use of a therapeutically effective amount of any of the above oligoribonucleotides (SEQ ID NOS: 3 316) or vectors for the preparation of a medicament for promoting recovery in a patient 25 suffering from alopecia or acute renal failure or a disorder which is accompanied by an elevated level of p53. In a preferred embodiment, the medicament comprises a topical medicament. In a particular embodiment the medicament is applied to the scalp of the patient. In another preferred 30 embodiment the medicament comprises transdermal administration In all the above aspects of the invention the alopecia may be induced by chemotherapy or by radiotherapy and is then termed "toxic alopecia". In more detail, toxic alopecia may be caused by irradiation such as gamma irradiation or by chemotherapeutic agents such as 20 etoposide, 5-FU (5-fluorouracil), cis-platinum, doxorubicin, a vinca alkaloid, vincristine, vinblastine, vinorelbine, taxol, cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, chlorambucil, busulfan, mechlorethamine, mitomycin, dacarbazine, carboplatinum, thiotepa, daunorubicin, idarubicin, mitoxantrone, bleomycin, esperamicin Al, dactinomycin, plicamycin, carmustine, 5 lomustine, tauromustine, streptozocin, melphalan, dactinomycin, procarbazine, dexamethasone, prednisone, 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine, cytarabine, docetaxel, fludarabine, gemcitabine, herceptin, hydroxyurea, irinotecan, methotrexate, oxaliplatin, rituxin, semustine, epirubicin, etoposide, tomudex and topotecan, or a chemical analog of one of these chemotherapeutic agents. The chemotherapeutic agents most likely to cause hair loss are: cis 10 platinum, cytarabine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, epirubicin, etoposide, ifosfamide and vincristine. The compounds of the invention are preferably used for treating acute renal failure, in particular acute renal failure due to ischemia in post surgical patients, and acute renal failure 15 due to chemotherapy treatment such as cisplatin administration or sepsis- associated acute renal failure. A preferred use of the compounds of the invention is for the prevention of acute renal failure in high-risk patients undergoing major cardiac surgery or vascular surgery. The patients at high-risk of developing acute renal failure can be identified using various scoring methods such as the Cleveland Clinic algorithm or that developed by US Academic Hospitals 20 (QMMI) and by Veterans' Administration (CICSS). Other preferred uses of the compounds of the invention are for the prevention of ischemic acute renal failure in kidney transplant patients or for the prevention of toxic acute renal failure in patients receiving chemotherapy. Other uses are for wound healing, acute liver failure, cisplatin-induced deafness (perhaps topically), ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem cells, preservation of donor 25 organs/tissues before transplantation by soaking in siRNA solution (perhaps by electroporation) and subsequent improvement of graft tissue survival following transplantation. Other indications may be stroke, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity, myocardial infarction/heart failure and improvement of graft tissue survival following transplantation (by systemic administration). Without being 30 bound by theory all these disorders are accompanied by an elevated level of p53 polypeptide. 21 The present invention also provides for a process of preparing a pharmaceutical composition, which comprises: obtaining one or more double stranded compound of the invention ; and admixing said compound with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. 5 The present invention also provides for a process of preparing a pharmaceutical composition, which comprises admixing one or more compounds of the present invention with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. In a preferred embodiment, the compound used in the preparation of a pharmaceutical composition is admixed with a carrier in a pharmaceutically effective dose. In a particular 10 embodiment the compound of the present invention is conjugated to a steroid or to a lipid or to another suitable molecule e.g. to cholesterol. Modifications or analogs of nucleotides can be introduced to improve the therapeutic properties of the nucleotides. Improved properties include increased nuclease resistance 15 and/or increased ability to permeate cell membranes. Accordingly, the present invention also includes all analogs of, or modifications to, a oligonucleotide of the invention that does not substantially affect the function of the polynucleotide or oligonucleotide. In a preferred embodiment such modification is related to 20 the base moiety of the nucleotide, to the sugar moiety of the nucleotide and/or to the phosphate moiety of the nucleotide. In embodiments of the invention, the nucleotides can be selected from naturally occurring or synthetically modified bases. Naturally occurring bases include adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine and uracil. Modified bases of the oligonucleotides include inosine, xanthine, 25 hypoxanthine, 2-aminoadenine, 6-methyl-, 2-propyl- and other alkyl- adenines, 5-halo uracil, 5-halo cytosine, 6-aza cytosine and 6-aza thymine, pseudo uracil, 4-thiuracil, 8-halo adenine, 8-aminoadenine, 8-thiol adenine, 8-thiolalkyl adenine, 8-hydroxyl adenine and other 8 substituted adenines, 8-halo guanine, 8-amino guanine, 8-thiol guanine, 8-thioalkyl guanine, 8-hydroxyl guanine and other substituted guanines, other aza and deaza adenines, other aza 30 and deaza guanines, 5-trifluoromethyl uracil and 5-trifluoro cytosine. In addition, analogs of nucleotides can be prepared wherein the structures of the nucleotides are fundamentally altered and are better suited as therapeutic or experimental reagents. An 22 example of a nucleotide analog is a peptide nucleic acid (PNA) wherein the deoxyribose (or ribose) phosphate backbone in DNA (or RNA) is replaced with a polyamide backbone similar to that found in peptides. PNA analogs have been shown to be resistant to degradation by enzymes and to have extended lives in vivo and in vitro. Further, PNAs have been shown to 5 bind more strongly to a complementary DNA sequence than to a DNA molecule. This observation is attributed to the lack of charge repulsion between the PNA strand and the DNA strand. Other modifications that can be made to oligonucleotides include polymer backbones, cyclic backbones, or acyclic backbones. 10 In one embodiment the modification is a modification of the phosphate moiety, whereby the modified phosphate moiety is selected from the group comprising phosphothioate. The compounds of the present invention can be synthesized by any of the methods that are well-known in the art for synthesis of ribonucleic (or deoxyribonucleic) oligonucleotides. 15 Such synthesis is, among others, described in Beaucage S.L. and Iyer R.P., Tetrahedron 1992; 48: 2223-2311, Beaucage S.L. and lyer R.P., Tetrahedron 1993; 49: 6123-6194 and Caruthers M.H. et. al., Methods Enzymol. 198'; 154: 287-33 the synthesis of thioaes is, among others, described in Eckstein F., Annu. Rev. Biochem. 1985; 54: 367-402, the synthesis of RNA molecules is described in Sproat B., in Humana Press 2005 edited by Herdewijn P.; 20 Kap. 2: 17-31 and respective downstream processes are, among others, described in Pingoud A. et. al., in IRL Press 1989 edited by Oliver R.W.A.; Kap. 7: 183-208 and Sproat B., in Humana Press 2005 edited by Herdewijn P.; Kap. 2: 17-31 (supra). Other synthetic procedures are known in the art e.g. the procedures as described in Usman et 25 al., 1987, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 109, 7845; Scaringe et al., 1990, Nucleic Acids Res., 18, 5433; Wincott et al., 1995, Nucleic Acids Res. 23, 2677-2684; and Wincott et al., 1997, Methods Mol. Bio., 74, 59, and these procedures may make use of common nucleic acid protecting and coupling groups, such as dimethoxytrityl at the 5'-end, and phosphoramidites at the 3'-end. The modified (e.g. 2'-0-methylated) nucleotides and unmodified nucleotides are incorporated 30 as desired. The oligonucleotides of the present invention can be synthesized separately and joined together post-synthetically, for example, by ligation (Moore et al., 1992, Science 256, 9923; Draper et al., International PCT publication No. W093/23569; Shabarova et al., 1991, 23 Nucleic Acids Research 19, 4247; Bellon et al., 1997, Nucleosides & Nucleotides, 16, 951; Bellon et al., 1997, Bioconjugate Chem. 8, 204), or by hybridization following synthesis and/or deprotection. It is noted that a commercially available machine (available, inter alia, from Applied 5 Biosystems) can be used; the oligonucleotides are prepared according to the sequences disclosed herein. Overlapping pairs of chemically synthesized fragments can be ligated using methods well known in the art (e.g., see U.S. Patent No. 6,121,426). The strands are synthesized separately and then are annealed to each other in the tube. Then, the double-stranded siRNAs are separated from the single-stranded oligonucleotides that were not annealed (e.g. because of the 10 excess of one of them) by HPLC. In relation to the siRNAs or siRNA fragments of the present invention, two or more such sequences can be synthesized and linked together for use in the present invention. The compounds of the invention can also be synthesized via a tandem synthesis 15 methodology, as described in US patent application publication No. US2004/0019001 (McSwiggen), wherein both siRNA strands are synthesized as a single contiguous oligonucleotide fragment or strand separated by a cleavable linker which is subsequently cleaved to provide separate siRNA fragments or strands that hybridize and permit purification of the siRNA duplex. The linker can be a polynucleotide linker or a non-nucleotide linker. 20 The present invention further provides for a pharmaceutical composition comprising two or more siRNA molecules for the treatment of any of the diseases and conditions mentioned herein, whereby said two molecules may be physically mixed together in the pharmaceutical composition in amounts which generate equal or otherwise beneficial activity, or may be 25 covalently or non-covalently bound, or joined together by a nucleic acid linker of a length ranging from 2-100, preferably 2-50 or 2-30 nucleotides. In one embodiment, the siRNA molecules are comprised of a double-stranded nucleic acid structure as described herein, wherein the two siRNA sequences are selected from Tables A-C, preferably from Table A, ID Nos: 3, 5, 20 and 23 (human sequences) and 11,12,14,17 and 18 (mouse sequences). 30 In another embodiment, the siRNA molecules are comprised of a double-stranded nucleic acid structure, wherein the first siRNA sequence is selected from Tables A-C, preferably from Table A, ID Nos: 3, 5, 20 and 23 (human p53 sequences) or 11, 12, 14, 17 and 18 24 (mouse p53 sequences) and the second siRNA molecule targets a pro-apoptotic gene, thereby providing beneficial activity. The tandem double-stranded structure which comprises two or more siRNA sequences is processed intracellularly to form two or more different siRNAs. Such second siRNA molecule is preferably an siRNA molecule that targets a pro-apoptotic 5 gene. The siRNA molecules are covalently or non-covalently bound or joined by a linker to form a tandem siRNA molecule. Such tandem siRNA molecules comprising two siRNA sequences are typically of 38-150 nucleotides in length, more preferably 38 or 40- 60 nucleotides in 10 length, and longer accordingly if more than two siRNA sequences are included in the tandem molecule. A longer tandem molecule comprised of two or more longer sequences which encode siRNA produced via intemal cellular processing, e.g., long dsRNAs, is also envisaged, as is a tandem molecule encoding two or more shRNAs. Such tandem molecules are also considered to be a part of the present invention. 15 siRNA molecules that target p53 may be the main active component in a pharmaceutical composition, or may be one active component of a pharmaceutical composition containing two or more siRNAs (or molecules which encode or endogenously produce two or more siRNAs, be it a mixture of molecules or one or more tandem molecules which encode two or 20 more siRNAs), said pharmaceutical composition further being comprised of one or more additional siRNA molecule which targets one or more additional gene. Simultaneous inhibition of p53 and said additional gene(s) will likely have an additive or synergistic effect for treatment of the diseases disclosed herein.. 25 In a specific example, the pharmaceutical composition for treatment of the diseases disclosed herein may be comprised of the following compound combinations: 1) p53 siRNA and Fas siRNA; 2) p53 siRNA and Bax siRNA; 3) p53 siRNA and Noxa siRNA; 4) p 53 siRNA and Puma siRNA; 5) p53 siRNA and RTP801 siRNA; 6) p 5 3 siRNA and PIDD siRNA; 7) p53 siRNA, Fas siRNA and any of RTP801 siRNA, Bax siRNA, Noxa siRNA or Puma siRNA or 30 PIDD siRNA to form trimers or polymers (i.e., tandem molecules which encode three siRNAs). Other preferred options of pro-apoptotic genes to be combined with the p53 siRNA are TNFa, caspase 2, caspase 3, caspase 9, E2F1, and PARP-1. A preferred combination according to the present invention is p53 siRNA and RTP801 siRNA.(see PCT patent application PCT/EP 2005/008891). 25 Additionally, p53 siRNA or any nucleic acid molecule comprising or encoding p53 siRNA can be linked (covalently or non-covalently) to antibodies against cell surface internalizable molecules expressed on the target cells, in order to achieve enhanced targeting for treatment 5 of the diseases disclosed herein. For example, anti-Fas antibody (preferably a neutralizing antibody) may be combined with a p53 siRNA molecule. The compounds of the present invention can be delivered either directly or with viral or non viral vectors. When delivered directly the sequences are generally rendered nuclease resistant. Alternatively the sequences can be incorporated into expression cassettes or 10 constructs such that the sequence is expressed in the cell as discussed herein below. Generally the construct contains the proper regulatory sequence or promoter to allow the sequence to be expressed in the targeted cell. Vectors optionally used for delivery of the compounds of the present invention are commercially available, and may be modified for the purpose of delivery of the compounds of the present invention by methods known to one of 15 skill in the art. It is also envisaged that a long oligonucleotide (typically 25-500 nucleotides in length) comprising one or more stem and loop structures, where stem regions comprise the sequences of the oligonucleotides of the invention, may be delivered in a carrier, preferably a 20 pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, and may be processed intracellularly by endogenous cellular complexes (e.g. by DROSHA and DICER as described above) to produce one or more smaller double stranded oligonucleotides (siRNAs) which are oligonucleotides of the invention. This oligonucleotide can be termed a tandem shRNA construct. It is envisaged that this long oligonucleotide is a single stranded oligonucleotide comprising one or more stem 25 and loop structures, wherein each stem region comprises a sense and corresponding antisense siRNA sequence of an p53 gene. In particular, it is envisaged that this oligonucleotide comprises sense and antisense siRNA sequences as depicted in any one of Tables A, B or C. As used herein, the term "polypeptide" refers to, in addition to a polypeptide, an oligopeptide, peptide and a full protein. 30 Screening of p53 inactivation compounds: Some of the compounds and compositions of the present invention may be used in a screening assay for identifying and isolating compounds that modulate the activity of p53, in 26 particular compounds that modulate alopecia or acute renal failure or a disorder accompanied by an elevated level of p53 polypeptide. The compounds to be screened comprise inter alia substances such as small chemical molecules and antisense oligonucleotides. 5 The inhibitory activity of the compounds of the present invention on p53 polypeptide activity or binding of the compounds of the present invention to p53 may be used to determine the interaction of an additional compound with the p53 polypeptide, e.g., if the additional compound competes with the oligonucleotides of the present invention for p53 inhibition, or if the additional compound rescues said inhibition. The inhibition or 10 activation can be tested by various means, such as, inter alia, assaying for the product of the activity of the p53 polypeptide or displacement of binding compound from the p53 polypeptide in radioactive or fluorescent competition assays. The present invention is illustrated in detail below with reference to Examples, but is not to be construed as being limited thereto. 15 Citation of any document herein is not intended as an admission that such document is pertinent prior art, or considered material to the patentability of any claim of the present application. Any statement as to content or a date of any document is based on the information available to applicant at the time of filing and does not constitute an admission as to the correctness of such a statement. 20 The term "comprise" and variants of the term such as "comprises" or "comprising" are used herein to denote the inclusion of a stated integer or stated integers but not to exclude any other integer or any other integers, unless in the context or usage an exclusive interpretation of the term is required. Any reference to publications cited in this specification is not an admission that the 25 disclosures constitute common general knowledge in Australia. 27 EXAMPLES General methods in molecular biology 5 Standard molecular biology techniques known in the art and not specifically described were generally followed as in Sambrook et al., Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York (1989), and as in Ausubel et al., Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, John Wiley and Sons, Baltimore, Maryland (1989) and as in Perbal, A Practical Guide to Molecular Cloning, John Wiley & Sons, New York (1988), and 10 as in Watson et al., Recombinant DNA, Scientific American Books, New York and in Birren et al (eds) Genome Analysis: A Laboratory Manual Series, Vols. 1-4 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York (1998) and methodology as set forth in United States patents 4,666,828; 4,683,202; 4,801,531; 5,192,659 and 5,272,057 and incorporated herein by reference. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was carried out generally as in PCR Protocols: A 15 Guide To Methods And Applications, Academic Press, San Diego, CA (1990). In situ (In cell) PCR in combination with Flow Cytometry can be used for detection of cells containing specific DNA and mRNA sequences (Testoni et al., 1996, Blood 87:3822.) Methods of performing RT-PCR are also well known in the art. EXAMPLE 1: Generation of sequences for active siRNA compounds 20 Using proprietary algorithms and the known sequence of gene p53 (SEQ ID NO: I), the sequences of many potential siRNAs were generated. Table A shows 23 siRNAs which have so far been selected, chemically synthesized and tested for activity (see Example 2). All these siRNAs are 19-mers. 28 a, a' 00 -T - 0% z , al* 00 -e00 0 % o, f4 w 1 ~ kn v r - CD op ~~P A op A -; A2 L% V% .4 0 0o ~ i 00 am CD E o E E Z~~~ -Do%0 10 th 0 en' co Co4 In,0 m 0' In) 'w 17 Z e' 1e4 VU - r; O- I t 0 00 0 Em0 0 0 0 0 E~ al - 1 '0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 E EE E E E E a Ef EEz If Ef . If EEE u~ 0 0 < << 0DS UD :1 < : D 0 u 0 < :D a 0 0 < 00 00 0 0< D Q~< <00 00 < :D 0 0 0 u D < 0 ~ ~0 0 0 0 o oJ 0 0 u< ':D 0 0 u u << 0 u<<< u 0 u 0 00 a 0 0 U < < 0 < 0 :): < * u 0 C0) 50o< 0 0 0 0 < 0 <D :: 0 0 <D < P< < u 0<0 <0 00 <0 u 2< 0 < 0 < 0 < < (D 0 < =) ooo 0 0 < <D ::) 0 0 uD U < < :) < o ~ < 0 < :1 =) < 0 0 Q < u )U0 < <0 G < < 0 =) < D :) <0 0 < Z) ) < u U u0 :) < < = 0 <<u < 8 < 0 u Z < <0 u0 L <00 0< <000 Z < =00 <7 :D < q.~ 0 00 D <8 0 < < ( << s0<~ < ;<0 < C0 0 00 < 0 =>= u<<O0 <~ Q < 00 60 00 u V ~ ~ ~ ~ 0 0 0 )D 0 0 8 D 0 < 0 0 <<<< <~ ~ ~ u u 0 D < 0 u )( to~0f- 00 0~ '0 f-.o 00 o% D0 ) 41 I '0 x f'r00 - - - - - - - - - YCC ylo 21L0 . co 0 C1s Note that in the above Table A, the sense strands of siRNAs 1-23 have SEQ ID NOS: 3-25 respectively, and the antisense strands of siRNAs 1-23 have SEQ ID NOS: 26- 48 respectively. siRNA compound No I (SEQ ID NOS: 3 and 26) is known from the literature 5 (Dirac and Bemards, Reversal of senescence in mouse fibroblasts through lentiviral suppression of p53J. Biol. Chem.(2003) 278:11731) and siRNA No 2 (SEQ ID NOS:4 and 27) is also known from the literature (Brummelkamp et al. Science 2002, 296:550-553). However, the use of these compounds in the methods of treatment disclosed herein is previously undisclosed and thus novel. 10 Table B below shows 71 additional 19-mer siRNAs which have been generated by the proprietary algorithms. 30 .0 '0' 00 OP OP 19 4 N0 ' ' mN C4 ms 00 00 CDOs O E0-~-0 0 ( s N 0 N ' 1O0 0 N' N' N( ( N0 - 0 0 0 0 0 -0~ - -< 2 01 8~B C4 , 0g o a, <7 C)0 U E 1 < 0 0 0 C> tuU)O ga oB UU~o0 0 0 D D D < 00uo 000000 S 0 0 0 <o 5 000S= Z<0 <~ ~ < 0 0 0 0 oO 00 0~ <0 < D B ) < :D(OOD §U. 8 U ~o0 = 0 < 0 0 0 =)DC o )< o : B U 'Du M 0 08 U<0 0 0 0 U~ U 0000D <0 0 0 Z:30< ~ ~ <D) <:1 1112: u : < n U 0 U 0 0< Z< 0 Bl U : 0 0 ~~0 fl 00=< U 0 < B B U D (DB D E < 11 < 0 000D08 0 D) U = 0 < :D< <_ 0:) D U D o <0 < g ~ C _:O~u < )0 00u 0 0 <~~ <B)nV 0 < <:) < ou~ 0 -< 0 < U < ~ 0 U u~ni< rz<U8UM.u < D UM 608m<~~0 0m<0U8 ) U C UUE EEEO E U E E E :) U 1- ~a 8<___ U < ) 8 Z) < 3 < < D OM 0 - UN <N =) <f U N < (1 8 8:<, U 8 0 (NO ( (.) =N UN UN (N ( f- -z -r- . (N o 0'1 00 ~ 0'1 2b Lll 0' 19 fl N 00 0 0 0 00 O- - 0 0< <N a, -*0 N r4 OP O V7 o o <? OP 00 00 00 14N <0 - 0 < < al : 0 0< D < < u < < Q 0 0 u u a' ( D 0 o 0 0 < D < 0 8 < B 0< S0 Q0 < u < u 0 < u 0 <J O <0 < 0 0§ 0 < 0 o0 u :D 0 0 D < Z0 Q 0 C0 < J 0 oD u < u. u < < 8 (D < < 0 < 0 < 8< D n 6 < u < 0 B u u < < < u u D 0 000< < < 0 < u U < Z < <S) 6 u0 < :D <u I <1 u U 0 0 u 0 0 0 u I Ul u u "ii A A A A io o 4Sfi 9~ ti 4i di $4 4 4i $$ ii d i E 7ra)T To 7R-4t ' a ' EE E E EC E * E E 0 0 E - E ( E G E - E u E u F 1 f u -4 - W 00 a' 0'0 'a 0t:0, 00 < r, r- r '0 < CD (N0 00 -- -- 00 Q 0 C- C I 0a N <00 <U u << a o 'a 'a '0 O< < u u u uD u O << < ED < << 8 < < < 0 0 0'5 0' 0 ' N < , u D u < O5< < u Q E <E~~ u D < <U < 'a VS 0 o - a' p' 0a p' 'a <~ S - -S 0 u u 0 0 00 r- u< U ::O D < < < E 0u 00 00,u0 0 0 u < < u <U < < < :O u <0 0 < :: 0 < U < a:: u u< Z 00 u < go 0 E E Ei Ei i $ E CE E 0E 0 E0 E 0 E o 0o E 0 E E 0 Eo o E 0 0 i u j 00uu 0-05 -0 ~ u o r- N N 7 r- t-2 0 0- < OP N ~ N - 0 00 'C ~ EN 5 < < < <) Z) Q D -) D - < N E N E < < < < < Q0 0 O < < 0 <s < < < uQ < S < D u 0< 0? 0 ? 0 ? 0 DD u - - - - - E EN EN N 8 EN < 2 u 0D < : uQ < Z' 0 0 < D 0 < : D u < U < 0 u < : D < M O < 0 0u < < u < 000 0 0 U . 1 o 0 - 0 0 v U 0U- U 0 < U0 0t U 01 Note that in the above Table B, the sense strands of siRNAs 1-71 have SEQ ID NOS: 49-119 respectively, and the antisense strands of siRNAs 1-71 have SEQ ID NOS: 120- 190 respectively. 5 Table C below shows 63 additional 21 -mer siRNAs which have been generated by the proprietary algorithms. 35 .00 00 N - N .* P C'-4 00 NeJN 00? ka < C4 , a N - 0 0.1 N ~ 0 S N r 30 0'7'N r*_' o- C0 oN I uO N1, c- 0 '0 V 00N v 0 0 NON 0 0 09 '0U< <;, E 0 1<0 0' 0 CI 0 ) o < oo u u u o '9o'u 0~ 4 :D 00 00 )0 N -- ' 0~ N -f f :DN 00 : B 0 00u 0 < aU,~uUou< 0 0 0 < D 8 0~<U<UU O 0 0

U

0 U Z) 0 M < a u :, § u 0 0 <U << 00 = S~~ ~ ~ ~ 0 : 0 u uO 0 0 ____< OB~u < B B0 Lo)<B5 0 < =<08 U<03 DU 0 0 U u< n 0<< :U: u U UOU:D O00:u 0 u~ S u u u I:) =) 8 <<: u < C) u n < U uU U~oOOu < < U o< 51<<v<O DU a u < D < u~ -- 3 < < < D < 0 : v' 00 ) 0u , a< 8u00000 00 -D ui D ZE UEv E < u Zu u w 0 O-IfIQ N00 M' 0< < < IN < Z-NIN O :Do0N00 -u N N N N: N N 0I ~~ . C-4 00 N 2 - N c N N - < N o '0 C N 0 ._ o 0 < r- - N < 00 o -0 00 ' 00 8 - < 0 0 0 0 0 0 - < m s 0 4 0t40 - m - 0 OP OP ON OP NP 0 9 09 0 4 O 4 0 N ; V co N 00 N V S0 0 N 0 0 o :0 < a '0 0D 0' ' ' V 0 Z0 '0 '0 0 0' N 0 < < < < - < < N < - D < < < 6 D < o L) < < << D < < 0 N < < < U < < - 0 D B < u Z) < B U < < D u o < C < u ~~~ <. ~< < < o DU < U :3 - < < < U D U 0 g 0 ~< < CD < <0 O 0 u 0 0 < u u <8 u C S< < < < < < u <0< 0 0 U : u <<0 < << U < 0 < < u u U < < < Z2 < u 0) < u < u C U Z) ' D 'C < aC 0 0 DC~ U ' U~ ~ < U C 2 U ' < U 'C C 0 0 'C ' < U <C U8C U v -: a 00 60- 0 0 beJ 0 0 0 0 0 ' Eo Ee E.0 E ~E o E., E o E E ao E0. '0E EN a0 -0 E 0 0- 5- 'a E S 0 'a 0 N - 00 0 N 5 N, N 5 4 =S _: 4 -- r- ;- - - ' - r- :'~CE r - r- 0 .-. r- - C- '0 .0 0 :D ** - q ' 0 el (4 C4(~ ( 0' 0' 0' 0% % 0% 0 , (ND O - (o < <~ 0 C C <4 .<0 0 o w% 0' 0 0 % ' o 0% O1 0 C- < 0<1' . O O 0< 00 w C o CD c 00 0 5 o O o < < < o < O o < D 0 < < < 0 o D <U U U 0 D D , o o o 0 O o 5 D 0 < < < o < D <00DO U a o o 0< 0 <U < < o o O < U D < O <0 0 < 0 o 0< D <O U < < U UO O U < < D. U C< ) < D 0 a o r i U 0 < < 0 U < u < < 0 < O < O o <- O 0 < U 0 U o < < a D < O U ' ~o U < < < < < < U U 5 a < 0 D0 < 0 < < 8Eo < o D a < D2Di)0 U < U < < < D O O 2002 .on1 .oo g . o - g ~ .. S- a - - - - B -= - _-3 -__ -_ -_-_s~ (N (( '0 C- W I m '0 '0 :0 'E E0 D E < 0' 0 0N <'~ ' ' - 0 0, 0, 00 w D O 0 00 1 0 0 v < u u < < <: < u 0<r0 <<0 Note that in the above Table C, the sense strands of siRNAs 1-63 have SEQ ID NOS: 191 253 respectively, and the antisense strands of siRNAs 1-63 have SEQ ID NOS: 254-316 respectively. EXAMPLE 2: Testing the siRNA compounds for anti-p53 activity 5 Protocols I. Preparation of the siRNAs (double-stranded oligonucleotides) Lyophilized oligonucleotides were dissolved in RNAse free distilled water to produce a final 10 concentration of WOuM. The diluted oligonucleotides were kept at room temperature for 15 min and immediately frozen in liquid nitrogen. The oligonucleotides were stored at -80 0 C and diluted before use with PBS. II. Transfection of siRNA in human cells with Llpofectamine2000 reagent: 15 2x10' p53-wt HCT1l6 or SW480 cells were seeded per well in 6 wells plate. 24h subsequently, cells were transfected with p53 oligonucleotides using lipofectamine2000 reagent (obtained from Invitrogen). The following procedure was performed: I. Before transfection, the cell medium was replaced by 1500ul fresh medium 20 without antibiotics. 2. In a sterile, plastic tube, Lipofectamine2000 reagent (the amount is calculated according to5ul per well) was added to 250ul serum-free medium, and incubated for 5 min at room temperature. 3. In another tube the human anti- p53 oligonucleotides (varying amounts to fit 25 the desired final concentration per well) were added to 250ul serum-free medium. 4. Lipofectamine2000 complex was combined with the p53 oligonucleotide solution and incubated for 20 min at room temperature. 5. The resulting mixture was added dropwise to the cells, and the cells were incubated at 370C . 30 6. SW480 cells: 48 hr after transfection the cells were harvested and proteins were extracted using RIPA buffer. 7. HCTI 16 cells: 40 * 40h after transfection, 5Fu (Sigma) was added to cells to produce a final concentration of 25ug/ml.48h after cells transfection (8h after 5Fu treatment), the cells were harvested and proteins were extracted using RIPA buffer. 5 8. p 5 3 expression was determined by Western Blot analysis using monoclonal antibody (Do-1 clone, Santa Cruz). For normalization, blots were examined for Tubulin expression. III Co-Transfection of mouse p53 gene and mouse p53 oligonucleotides into PC3 10 cells using Lipofectamine2000 reagent: 2x10 5 p53-null PC3 cells were seeded per well in 6 wells plate. 24h subsequently, cells were Co-transfected with mouse p53 gene and GFP gene and mouse p53 oligonucleotides using lipofectamine2000 reagent (Invitrogen). The following procedure was performed: 1. Before transfection cell medium was replaced by 1500ul fresh medium without 15 antibiotics. 2. In sterile, plastic tube, Lipofectamine2000 reagent (5ul per well) was added to 250ul serum-free medium, and incubated for 5 min at room temperature. 3. In another tube 4ug DNA (p53gene:GFPgene, 10:1) and human p53 oligonucleotides were added to 250ul serum free medium. 20 4. Lipofectamine2000 complex was combined with p53 oligonucleotides solution and incubated for 20 min at room temperature. 5. The mixture solution was added dropwise to the cells, and cells were incubated at 37"C. 6. 48h after transfection, cells were harvested and proteins were extracted using RIPA 25 buffer. 7. p53 expression was determined by Westem Blot analysis using monoclonal antibody (Clone240, Chemicon). For normalization, blots were examined for GFP expression. 41 Results: A. Human p53 oligonucleotides: Table D: Results of Test Number oligo species source SW480 HCT116 2 Hu2' human literature (-) (+ 3 QHMonI human, monkey Proprietary ',+) (+i++ 4 QHMon2 human, monkey Proprietary Not tested 5 QH1 human Proprietary '+++ (+++) 6 QH2 human Proprietary - Not tested 13 A17 human, mouse Proprietary (-) Not tested 14 E2 human, mouse, rat Proprietary ,) Not tested 15 E6 human, mouse, rat Proprietary (- Not tested 16 B I human, mouse, rat Proprietary - Not tested 17 B2 human, mouse, rat Proprietary Not tested 18 Cl human, monkey, mouse Proprietary - Not tested 19 F2 human, monkey, dog Proprietary - Not tested 20 F3 human, monkey, dog Proprietary (+++) 21 GI human, monkey, dog Proprietary (++) Not tested 22 H2 human, monkey, dog Proprietary ( Not tested 23 15 human, monkey, dog Proprietary (+++) Not tested 5 Note: The numbers in Table D correspond to the numbers used in Table A, where the sense strands of siRNAs 1-23 have SEQ ID NOS: 3-25 respectively, and the antisense strands of siRNAs 1-23 have SEQ ID NOS: 26- 48 respectively. 10 As shown in Table D, four human oligonucleotides were tested in two systems SW480 and HCTI 16 , according to Protocols II above . Representative results (Western Blot) on which the Results of Test was based are shown in Figure 3. 42 B. Mouse p53 oligonucleotides: Table E: Results of Test C3 null cells/exogenous mouse oligo species source 53 1 Mo3 mouse literature '+++) 7 QM1 mouse Proprietary '-) 8 QM2 mouse Proprietary 9 QM3 mouse Proprietary '-) 10 QM6 mouse Proprietary -) S1 QM4 mouse, rat Proprietary 12 QM5 mouse, rat Proprietary +++) 13 A 17 human, mouse Proprietary '-) 14 E2 human, mouse, rat Proprietary (++) 15 E6 human, mouse, rat Proprietary (-) 16 B I human, monkey, mouse Proprietary (-) 17 B2 human, monkey, mouse Proprietary (++) 18 Cl human, monkey, mouse Proprietary (++) 21 GI human, monkey, dog Proprietary (++) 20 F3 human, monkey, dog Proprietary 23 15 human, monkey, dog Proprietary (-) 3 QHMon1 human, monkey Proprietary (++) Note: The numbers in Table E (as for Table D) correspond to the numbers used in Table 5 A, where the sense strands of siRNAs 1-23 have SEQ ID NOS: 3-25 respectively, and the antisense strands of siRNAs 1-23 have SEQ ID NOS: 26-48 respectively. Representatives of the Western Blot results on which the Results of Test was based are shown in Figure 4. EXAMPLE 3: Model systems of hair loss. Testing the active siRNA may be done in the following systems: 10 a. Mouse model of hair loss b. Ex-vivo cultured human hair follicles c. Human hair follicle graft in nude mice 43 Note: Systems for testing the active siRNA are described in Botcharev et al, 2000, p53 is essential for Chemotherapy -induced Hair Loss, Cancer Research, 60, 5002-5006). EXAMPLE 4: Model systems of acute renal failure (ARF). 5 Testing the active siRNA for treating ARF may be done using sepsis-induced ARF or ischemia-reperfusion-induced ARE. 1. Sepsis induced ARF 10 Two predictive animal models of sepsis-induced ARF are described by Miyaji T, Hu X, Yuen PS, Muramatsu Y, Iyer S, Hewitt SM, Star RA, 2003, Ethyl pyruvate decreases sepsis induced acute renal failure and multiple organ damage in aged mice, Kidney Int. Nov;64(5):1620-31. These two models are lipopolysaccharide administration and cecal ligation puncture in mice, preferably in aged mice. 15 2. Ischemia-reperfusion-induced ARF This predictive animal model is described by Kelly KJ, Plotkin Z, Vulgamott SL, Dagher PC, 20 2003 January,. P53 mediates the apoptotic response to GTP depletion after renal ischemia reperfusion: protective role of a p53 inhibitor, J Am Soc Nephrol.;14(1):128-38. Ischemia-reperfusion injury was induced in rats following 45 minutes bilateral kidney arterial clamp and subsequent release of the clamp to allow 24 hours of reperfusion. 250 pg of p53 25 siRNA (QM5 sequence, Table A) were injected into the jugular vein 2 hrs prior to and 30 minutes following the clamp. Additional 250gg of siRNA were given via the tail vein at 4 and 8 hrs after the clamp. siRNA against GFP served as a negative control. The siRNA used in the experiments described herein had a phosphate group at the 3' terminus of both the sense and antisense strand . The 3'-non-phosphorylated siRNA has been found to have 30 similar biologically activity in an animal model as the corresponding 3'-phosphorylated siRNA. ARF progression was monitored by measurement of serum creatinine levels before 44 and 24 hrs post surgery. At the end of the experiment, the rats were perfused via an indwelling femoral line with warm PBS followed by 4% paraformaldehyde. The left kidneys were removed and stored in 4% paraformaldehyde for subsequent histological analysis. Acute renal failure is frequently defined as an acute increase of the serum creatinine level 5 from baseline. An increase of at least 0.5 mg per dL or 44.2 pmol per L of serum creatinine is considered as an indication for acute renal failure. Serum creatinine was measured at time zero before the surgery and at 24 hours post ARF surgery. To study the distribution of p53 siRNA in the rat kidney, Cy3-labeled 19-mer blunt-ended 10 siRNA molecules (2 mg/kg) having alternating 0-methyl modification in the sugar residues were administered iv for 3-5 min, after which in vivo imaging was conducted using two photon confocal microscopy. The confocal microscopy analysis revealed that the majority of siRNA in the kidneys is concentrated in the endosomal compartment of proximal tubular cells. Both endosomal and cytoplasmic siRNA fluorescence were relatively stable during the 15 first 2 hrs post delivery and disappeared at 24 hrs. As evident from Figure 5, there was a ten-fold increase in the level of serum creatinine following the 45-min of kidney bilateral arterial clamp treatment (PBS treatment). Four injections of p53 siRNA (QM5 sequence, Table A) (2 hrs prior to the clamp and 30min, 4h 20 and 8h after the clamp) significantly reduced the creatinine level in serum by 50% (P < 0.001). These results suggest that p53 siRNA can protect renal tissue from the effects of ischemia-reperfusion injury and thus reduces the severity of ARE. The effect of p53 siRNA treatment on renal ischemia-reperfusion injury was further 25 determined by analysing the extent of tubular necrosis in the renal tissue. Tubular necrosis may be scored as: no damage (damage scoring 0), unicellular, patchy isolated necrosis (damage scoring 1), tubular necrosis in less than 25% of the tissue (damage scoring 2), tubular necrosis in between 25 and 50% of the tissue (damage scoring 3) and tubular necrosis in more than 50% of the tissue (damage scoring 4). Figure 6 demonstrates the tubular kidney 30 damage expressed as damage scoring (Y-axis) in animals that did not undergo ischemia reperfusion injury (group 1) or in ischemia-reperfusion injury animals following treatment with either PBS (group 2), two injections of p53 siRNA (group 3), three injections of p53 siRNA (group 4) or four injections of p53 siRNA (group 5). As revealed by Figure 6, four injections of p53 siRNA led to significant decrease in the tubular kidney damage as compared 45 to the PBS control group. Figure 7 demonstrates that four injections of p53 siRNA treatment down-regulated the expression of the pro-apoptotic gene Puma in the cortical compartment of the kidney in animal subjected to ischemia-reperfusion injury. This indicates that p53 siRNA treatment is capable of inhibiting the apoptotic processes in the kidney following ischemia 5 reperfusion injury. 46

Claims (20)

1. A double-stranded RNA compound having antisense strand sequence SEQ ID NO: 28: 5' AGUAGUUUCCAUAGGUCUG 3'; and sense strand sequence SEQ ID NO: 5: 5' CAGACCUAUGGAAACUACU 3'.
2. The double-stranded RNA compound of claim 1 having the structure: 5' AGUAGUUUCCAUAGGUCUG - Z 3' (antisense strand) 3' Z' - UCAUCAAAGGUAUCCAGAC 5' (sense strand); wherein each of A, U, C and G is an unmodified ribonucleotide or a 2'-O-Methyl sugar modified ribonucleotide; wherein each consecutive ribonucleotide is joined to the next ribonucleotide by a covalent bond; wherein each of Z and Z' is present or absent, and if present is dTdT and is covalently attached at the 3' terminus of the strand in which it is present.
3. The double-stranded RNA compound of claim 2, wherein the covalent bond is a phosphodiester bond.
4. The double-stranded RNA compound of claim 2 or claim 3, wherein the antisense strand and the sense strand are non-phosphorylated at the 3' terminus and the 5' terminus.
5. The double-stranded RNA compound of claim 2 or claim 3, wherein the antisense strand and the sense strand are phosphorylated at the 3' termini.
6. The double-stranded RNA compound of any one of claims 2 to 5, wherein alternating ribonucleotides are modified in both the antisense and the sense strands; wherein in the antisense strand each of the first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth, eleventh, thirteenth, fifteenth, seventeenth and nineteenth ribonucleotide is a 2'-O-Methyl sugar modified ribonucleotide; and wherein in the sense strand each of the second, fourth, sixth, eighth, tenth, twelfth, fourteenth, sixteenth and eighteenth ribonucleotide is a 2'-O-Methyl sugar modified ribonucleotide. 47
7. A pharmaceutical composition comprising the double-stranded RNA compound of any one of claims 1 to 6 in an amount effective to down-regulate expression of a human p53 gene; and a carrier.
8. A method of treating a patient suffering from a disorder, the method comprising administering to the patient in need thereof a compound according to any one of claims 1 to 6 or a pharmaceutical composition according to claim 7.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the patient is suffering from acute renal failure or is at risk of suffering from acute renal failure.
10. The method of claim 9, wherein the patient is at high risk of suffering from acute renal failure following major surgery.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein the surgery is cardiac surgery.
12. The method of claim 10, wherein the patient is a kidney transplant patient.
13. The method of claim 8, wherein the patient is a surgery patient suffering from, or at risk of, ischemia-reperfusion kidney injury.
14. A method of improving graft tissue survival following transplantation, the method comprising administering to a patient in need thereof a compound according to any one of claims 1 to 6 or a pharmaceutical composition according to claim 7.
15. The method of claim 8, wherein the disorder is chemotherapy-induced alopecia.
16. The method of claim 8, wherein the disorder is selected from the group consisting of a burn, wound, hyperthermia, acute liver failure, hypoxia associated with a blocked blood supply, myocardial infarction, stroke, ischemia, neuronal death in the central nervous system, brain injury, spinal cord injury, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity. 48
17. A method of eliminating neuronal damage during a seizure, the method comprising administering to a patient in need thereof a compound according to any one of claims 1 to 6 or a pharmaceutical composition according to claim 7.
18. The method of claim 8, wherein the disorder is cisplatin-induced deafness.
19. A method of preservation of donor organs/tissues before transplantation, the method comprising administering to a patient in need thereof a compound according to any one of claims 1 to 6 or a pharmaceutical composition according to claim 7.
20. A method of ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem cells, the method comprising administering to a patient in need thereof a compound according to any one of claims 1 to 6 or a pharmaceutical composition according to claim 7. Date: 24 October 2014 49
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