Self-assembled nanoparticles based on the c(RGDfk) peptide for the delivery of siRNA targeting the VEGFR2 gene for tumor therapy
Li Liu,1 Xiaoxia Liu,1 Qian Xu,1 Ping Wu,2 Xialin Zuo,3 Jingjing Zhang,1 Houliang Deng,1 Zhuomin Wu,1 Aimin Ji1
1Department of Pharmacy, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Pharmacy, Chengdu Integrated TCM & Western Medicine Hospital, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China; 3Institute of Neurosciences and the Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Key Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Channelopathies of Guangdong Province and the Ministry of Education of China, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China
Abstract: The clinical application of small interfering RNA (siRNA) has been restricted by their poor intracellular uptake, low serum stability, and inability to target specific cells. During the last several decades, a great deal of effort has been devoted to exploring materials for siRNA delivery. In this study, biodegradable, tumor-targeted, self-assembled peptide nanoparticles consisting of cyclo(Arg–Gly–Asp–d–Phe–Lys)-8–amino–3,6–dioxaoctanoic acid–β–maleimidopropionic acid (hereafter referred to as RPM) were found to be an effective siRNA carrier both in vitro and in vivo. The nanoparticles were characterized based on transmission electron microscopy, circular dichroism spectra, and dynamic light scattering. In vitro analyses showed that the RPM/VEGFR2-siRNA exhibited negligible cytotoxicity and induced effective gene silencing. Delivery of the RPM/VEGFR2 (zebrafish)-siRNA into zebrafish embryos resulted in inhibition of neovascularization. Administration of RPM/VEGFR2 (mouse)-siRNA to tumor-bearing nude mice led to a significant inhibition of tumor growth, a marked reduction of vessels, and a downregulation of VEGFR2 (messenger RNA and protein) in tumor tissue. Furthermore, the levels of IFN-α, IFN-γ, IL-12, and IL-6 in mouse serum, assayed via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, did not indicate any immunogenicity of the RPM/VEGFR2 (mouse)-siRNA in vivo. In conclusion, RPM may provide a safe and effective delivery vector for the clinical application of siRNAs in tumor therapy.
Keywords: siRNA delivery, self-assembly nanoparticles, gene silencing, tumor targeting
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