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Targeted co-delivery of Beclin 1 siRNA and FTY720 to hepatocellular carcinoma by calcium phosphate nanoparticles for enhanced anticancer efficacy

Authors Wu JY, Wang ZX, Zhang G, Lu X, Qiang GH, Hu W, Ji AL, Wu JH, Jiang CP

Received 7 November 2017

Accepted for publication 31 January 2018

Published 5 March 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1265—1280


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Jun-Yi Wu,1,* Zhong-Xia Wang,1,* Guang Zhang,1 Xian Lu,1 Guang-Hui Qiang,2 Wei Hu,2 An-Lai Ji,3 Jun-Hua Wu,4 Chun-Ping Jiang1

1Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China; 2Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Drum Tower Clinical College of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China; 3Department of General Surgery, The Affiliated Hospital of Yangzhou University, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China; 4Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Medical School, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: FTY720, known as fingolimod, is a new immunosuppressive agent with effective anticancer properties. Although it was recently confirmed that FTY720 inhibits cancer cell proliferation, FTY720 can also induce protective autophagy and reduce cytotoxicity. Blocking autophagy with Beclin 1 siRNA after treatment with FTY720 promotes apoptosis. The objective of this study was to enhance the anticancer effect of FTY720 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by targeted co-delivery of FTY720 and Beclin 1 siRNA using calcium phosphate (CaP) nanoparticles (NPs).
Materials and methods: First, the siRNA was encapsulated within the CaP core. To form an asymmetric lipid bilayer structure, we then used an anionic lipid for the inner leaflet and a cationic lipid for the outer leaflet; after removing chloroform by rotary evaporation, these lipids were dispersed in a saline solution with FTY720. The NPs were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering and ultraviolet–visible spectrophotometry. Cancer cell viability and cell death were analyzed by MTT assays, fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis and Western blotting. In addition, the in vivo effects of the NPs were investigated using an athymic nude mouse subcutaneous transplantation tumor model.
Results: When the CaP NPs, called LCP-II NPs, were loaded with FTY720 and siRNA, they exhibited the expected size and were internalized by cells. These NPs were stable in systemic circulation. Furthermore, co-delivery of FTY720 and Beclin 1 siRNA significantly increased cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo compared with that caused by treatment with the free drug alone.
Conclusion: The CaP NP system can be further developed for co-delivery of FTY720 and Beclin 1 siRNA to treat HCC, enhancing the anticancer efficacy of FTY720. Our findings provide a new insight into HCC treatment with co-delivered small molecules and siRNA, and these results can be readily translated into cancer clinical trials.

LCP-II NPs, autophagy, FTY720, Beclin 1, co-delivery

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