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Reversing multidrug resistance in breast cancer cells by silencing ABC transporter genes with nanoparticle-facilitated delivery of target siRNAs

Authors Li YT, Chua MJ, Kunnath AP, Chowdhury EH

Received 2 February 2012

Accepted for publication 17 March 2012

Published 5 June 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 2473—2481


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Yong Tsuey Li,1 Ming Jang Chua,1 Anil Philip Kunnath,1 Ezharul Hoque Chowdhury,1,2

Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, International Medical University (IMU), No 126, Jalan 19/155B, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 2Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Background: Multidrug resistance, a major impediment to successful cancer chemotherapy, is the result of overexpression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters extruding internalized drugs. Silencing of ABC transporter gene expression with small interfering RNA (siRNA) could be an attractive approach to overcome multidrug resistance of cancer, although delivery of siRNA remains a major hurdle to fully exploit the potential of siRNA-based therapeutics. Recently, we have developed pH-sensitive carbonate apatite nanoparticles to efficiently carry and transport siRNA across the cell membrane, enabling knockdown of the cyclin B1 gene and consequential induction of apoptosis in synergy with anti-cancer drugs.
Methods and results: We report that carbonate apatite-mediated delivery of the siRNAs targeting ABCG2 and ABCB1 gene transcripts in human breast cancer cells which constitutively express both of the transporter genes dose-dependently enhanced chemosensitivity to doxorubicin, paclitaxel and cisplatin, the traditionally used chemotherapeutic agents. Moreover, codelivery of two specific siRNAs targeting ABCB1 and ABCG2 transcripts resulted in a more robust increase of chemosensitivity in the cancer cells, indicating the reversal of ABC transporter-mediated multidrug resistance.
Conclusion: The delivery concept of multiple siRNAs against ABC transporter genes is highly promising for preclinical and clinical investigation in reversing the multidrug resistance phenotype of breast cancer.

Keywords: carbonate apatite, siRNA, gene expression, transfection, breast cancer, ABC transporter, multidrug resistance, chemosensitivity

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