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Application of quantum dots as vectors in targeted survivin gene siRNA delivery

Authors Zhao J, Qiu X, Wang Z, Pan J, Chen J, Han J

Received 24 September 2012

Accepted for publication 20 December 2012

Published 3 April 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 303—309


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Jianjiang Zhao, Xiaoling Qiu, Zhiping Wang, Jie Pan, Jun Chen, Jiusong Han

Department of Surgery, Guangdong Provincial Stomatological Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Gene silencing using short interfering RNA (siRNA) is becoming an attractive approach for probing gene function in mammalian cells. This study evaluated the specificity and efficiency of quantum dots (QDs) as non-viral gene vectors for delivery of survivin siRNA and downregulation of survivin gene expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma Tca8113 cells. Water-dispersible cationically-modified QDs were electrostatically attached to anionic siRNA molecules and complexed with siRNA for downregulating expression of the survivin gene. Cellular uptake and allocation of QD–siRNA complexes in Tca8113 cells were monitored using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to quantify survivin messenger RNA (mRNA) levels. CdSe QDs were observed with high intensity fluorescence under confocal laser scanning microscopy. Tca8113 cells were successfully transfected by QDs with survivin siRNA, and the red fluorescence from CdSe QDs and green fluorescein amidite fluorescence from siRNA could both be easily observed after 6 hours of incubation. The release of siRNA into the cytoplasm was verified through real-time PCR quantification that showed reduced survivin mRNA levels. In this study, survivin siRNA successfully complexed with water-soluble CdSe QDs and exhibited excellent fluorescent properties and downregulated the expression of the survivin gene in oral squamous cell carcinoma Tca8113 cells. QDs are a novel non-viral gene delivery vector.

Keywords: quantum dots, survivin, siRNA delivery, transfection, Tca8113, tongue cancer cells

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