Aptamer-guided siRNA-loaded nanomedicines for systemic gene silencing in CD-44 expressing murine triple-negative breast cancer model

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In this study, we describe a liposome-based siRNA delivery system with a core composed of siRNA:protamine complex and a shell designed for the active targeting of CD44-expressing cells using for the first time the anti-CD44 aptamer (named Apt1) as targeting ligand. Among all functions, CD44 is the most common cancer stem cell surface biomarker and is found overexpressed in many tumors making this an attractive receptor for therapeutic targeting. This unique non-cationic system was evaluated for the silencing of the reporter gene of luciferase (luc2) in a triple-negative breast cancer model in vitro and in vivo. We show the possibility of conjugating an aptamer to siRNA-containing liposomes for an efficient gene silencing in CD44-expressing tumor cells in vivo, in the perspective of silencing disease-related genes in tumors.Graphical abstract

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