Targeting ETS1 with RNAi-based supramolecular nanoassemblies for multidrug-resistant breast cancer therapy

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Overexpression of erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog 1 (ETS1) gene is correlated with both tumor progression and poor response to chemotherapy in cancer treatment, and the exploitation of RNA interference (RNAi) technology to downregulate ETS1 seems to be a promising approach to reverse multidrug-resistant cancer cells to chemotherapy. Hence, the RNAi-based nanomedicine which is able to simultaneously downregulate ETS1 expression and to deliver chemotherapeutic agents may improve multidrug-resistant cancer therapy synergistically. In this study, we developed a supramolecular nanoassembly that could deliver siRNA targeting ETS1 (siETS1) and doxorubicin (DOX) as an effective nanomedicine to achieve successful chemotherapy towards multidrug-resistant breast cancer. The nanotherapeutic system was prepared by loading adamantane-conjugated doxorubicin (AD) into polyethyleneimine-modified (2-hydroxypropyl)-γ-cyclodextrin (HP) through the supramolecular assembly to form AD-loaded HP (HPAD), followed by electrostatically-driven self-assembly between siETS1 and HPAD. When the HPAD/siETS1 nanoassemblies were delivered into drug-resistant MCF-7/ADR cells, the drug efflux was significantly reduced as a result of simultaneous silencing of ETS1 and MDR1 genes. Importantly, the HPAD/siETS1 nanoassembly could enhance drug residence time at tumor site, and effectively inhibit drug-resistant tumor growth due to the inhibition of angiogenesis and necrosis in tumor tissues. Western blot analysis indicated that the gene expression of both ETS1 and MDR1 in vivo was considerably downregulated after the drug-resistant tumor-bearing mouse was treated with HPAD/siETS1 nanoassemblies. This study offers a new therapeutic delivery strategy targeting ETS1 for the effective multidrug-resistant chemotherapy.

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