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siRNA-based breast cancer therapy by suppressing 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 in an optimized xenograft cell and molecular biology model in vivo

Authors Li F, Zhu ZH, Xue M, He WH, Zhang T, Feng LL, Lin SX

Received 19 July 2018

Accepted for publication 6 November 2018

Published 22 February 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 757—766


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anastasios Lymperopoulos

Fang Li,1,* ZhiHan Zhu,1,* Man Xue,1,* WanHong He,1 Ting Zhang,1 LingLin Feng,1 ShengXiang Lin2

1NHC Key Laboratory of Reproduction Regulation (Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research), Fudan University, and Shanghai Engineer and Technology Research Center of Reproductive Health Drug and Devices, Shanghai 200032, China; 2Axe Molecular Endocrinology and Nephrology, CHU Research Center and Department of Molecular Medicine, Laval University, Québec, G1V 4G2, QC, Canada

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: Hormone-dependent breast cancer is the most common form of breast cancer, and inhibiting 17β-HSD1 can play an attractive role in decreasing estrogen and cancer cell proliferation. However, the majority of existing inhibitors have been developed from estrogens and inevitably possess residual estrogenicity. siRNA knockdown provides a highly specific way to block a targeted enzyme, being especially useful to avoid estrogenicity. Application of 17β-HSD1-siRNA in vivo is limited by the establishment of an animal model, as well as the potential nuclease activity in vivo. We tried to reveal the in vivo potential of 17β-HSD1-siRNA-based breast cancer therapy.
Materials and methods: To establish a competent animal model, daily subcutaneous injection of an estrone micellar aqueous solution was adopted to provide the substrate for estradiol biosynthesis. The effects of three different doses of estrone (0.1, 0.5, and 2.5 µg/kg/day) on tumor growth in T47D-17β-HSD1-inoculated group were investigated and compared with the animals inoculated with wild type T47D cells. To solve in vivo delivery problem of siRNA, “17β-HSD1-siRNA/LPD”, a PEGylated and modified liposome–polycation–DNA nanoparticle containing 17β-HSD1-siRNA was prepared by the thin film hydration method and postinsertion technology. Finally, “17β-HSD1-siRNA/LPD” was tested in the optimized model. Tumor growth and 17β-HSD1 expression were assessed.
Results: Comparison with the untreated group revealed significant suppression of tumor growth in “17β-HSD1-siRNA/LPD”-treated group when HSD17B1 gene expression was knocked down.
Conclusion: These findings showed promising in vivo assessments of 17β-HSD1-siRNA candidates. This is the first report of an in vivo application of siRNA for steroid-converting enzymes in a nude mouse model.

Keywords: animal model, HSD17B1, breast cancer, estrogen, gene silencing

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