Systemic delivery of siRNA by T7 peptide modified core-shell nanoparticles for targeted therapy of breast cancer

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Abstract

Systemic delivery of siRNA is the most challenging step to transfer RNAi to clinical application for breast cancer therapy. In this study, the tumor targeted, T7 peptide modified core-shell nanoparticles (named as T7-LPC/siRNA NPs) were constructed to achieve effective systemic delivery of siRNA. The core-shell structure of T7-LPC/siRNA NPs enables them to encapsulate siRNA in the core and protect it from RNase degradation during circulation. In vitro cellular uptake and gene silencing experiments demonstrated that T7-LPC/siEGFR NPs could deliver EGFR siRNA into breast cancer cells through receptor mediated endocytosis and effectively down-regulate the EGFR expression. In vivo distribution study proved the T7-LPC/siRNA NPs could deliver fluorescence labeled siRNA to the tumor site more efficiently than the non-targeted PEG-LPC/siRNA NPs after intravenous administration. Furthermore, the experiments of in vivo tumor therapy confirmed that intravenous administration of T7-LPC/siEGFR NPs led to an effective EGFR down-regulation and an obvious inhibition of breast tumor growth, with little activation of immune responses and negligible body weight loss. These results suggested that T7-LPC/siRNA NPs could be an effective and safe systemic siRNA delivery system for RNAi-based breast cancer therapy.

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