Multifunctional nanoparticles co-delivering EZH2 siRNA and etoposide for synergistic therapy of orthotopic non-small-cell lung tumor

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Malignant proliferation and metastasis in non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) are great challenges for effective clinical treatment through conventional chemotherapy. The combinational therapy strategy of RNA interfering (RNAi) technology and chemotherapeutic agents have been reported to be promising for effective cancer therapy. In this study, based on multifunctional nanoparticles (NPs), the simultaneous delivery of etoposide (ETP) and anti-Enhancer of Zeste Homologue 2 (EZH2) siRNA for the effective treatment of orthotopic lung tumor was achieved. The NPs exhibited pH/redox dual sensitivity verified by particle size changes, morphological changes, and in vitro release of drugs. Confocal microscopy analysis confirmed that the NPs exhibited endosomal escape property and on-demand intracellular drug release behavior, which can protect siRNA from degradation and facilitate the chemotherapeutic effect respectively. In vitro tumor cell motility study demonstrated that EZH2 siRNA loaded in NPs can decrease the migration and invasion capabilities of tumor cells by downregulating the expression of EZH2 mRNA and protein. In particular, an antiproliferation study revealed that the co-delivery of siRNA and ETP in the multifunctional NPs can induce a synergistic therapeutic effect on NSCLC. In vivo targeting evaluation showed that cRGDyC-PEG modification on NPs exhibited a low distribution in normal organs and an obvious accumulation in orthotopic lung tumor. Furthermore, targeted NPs co-delivering siRNA and ETP showed superior inhibition on tumor growth and metastasis and produced minimal systemic toxicity. These findings indicated that multifunctional NPs can be utilized as a co-delivery system, and that the combination of EZH2 siRNA and ETP can effectively treat NSCLC.

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