Co-delivery of hypoxia inducible factor-1α small interfering RNA and 5-fluorouracil to overcome drug resistance in gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells

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Drug resistance cancer cells have become a major problem in chemotherapy. To solve this problem, the co-delivery of small interefering RNA (siRNA) and 5-fluorouracil chitosan nanoparticles was employed, aiming to reverse the multidrug resistance of gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells in vitro.


Chitosan nanoparticles were prepared using an ionic gel method. siRNA nanoparticles were characterized by gel retardation assays. Particle size and zeta potential were measured to confirm nanoparticle formation. The transfection efficiency of siRNA was determined by flow cytometry and high-content screening. Western blotting and a quantitative real-time-polymerase chain reaction were used to assess the silencing efficiency of siRNA. Accumulation and efflux experiments for rhodamine-123, cell migration experiments, cell sensitivity analyses and cell apoptosis assays were used to determine whether siRNA could reverse multidrug resistance. A systemic toxicity assay was used to evaluate the safety of nanoparticles.


Compared to naked siRNA, the co-delivery system demonstrated a higher transfection efficiency and gene silencing efficiency by inhibiting the efflux of P-glycoprotein and cell migration. Moreover, the combination treatment with siRNA and 5-fluorouracil co-delivered by chitosan nanoparticles can increase the sensitivity of drug resistance cells and cell apoptosis. Finally, the safety of nanoparticles was evaluated in vivo and the results obtained suggested that nanoparticles did not have any obvious toxicity.


Co-delivery of siRNA and 5-fluorouracil chitosan nanoparticles is an attractive strategy for overcoming multidrug resistance.

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