Detection of extracellular RNAs in cancer and viral infection via tethered cationic lipoplex nanoparticles containing molecular beacons.
ABSTRACT: Noninvasive early detection methods have the potential to reduce mortality rates of both cancer and infectious diseases. Here, we present a novel assay by which tethered cationic lipoplex nanoparticles containing molecular beacons (MBs) can capture cancer cell-derived exosomes or viruses and identify encapsulated RNAs in a single step. A series of ultracentrifugation and Exoquick isolation kit were first used to isolate exosomes from the cell culture medium and human serum, respectively. Cationic lipoplex nanoparticles linked onto the surface of a thin glass plate capture negatively charged viruses or cell-secreted exosomes by electrostatic interactions to form larger nanoscale complexes. Lipoplex/virus or lipoplex/exosome fusion leads to the mixing of viral/exosomal RNAs and MBs within the lipoplexes. After the target RNAs specially bind to the MBs, exosomes enriched in target RNAs are readily identified by the fluorescence signals of MBs. The in situ detection of target extracellular RNAs without diluting the samples leads to high detection sensitivity not achievable by existing methods, e.g., quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Here we demonstrate this concept using lentivirus and serum from lung cancer patients.
Project description:Circulating microRNAs carried by exosomes have emerged as promising diagnostic biomarkers for cancer because of their abundant amount and remarkable stability in body fluids. Exosomal microRNAs in blood are typically quantified using the RNA isolation-qRT-PCR workflow, which cannot distinguish circulating microRNAs secreted by cancer cells from those released by non-tumor cells, making it potentially less sensitive in detecting cancer-specific microRNA biomarkers. We have developed a sensitive and simple tethered cationic lipoplex nanoparticles (tCLN) biochip to detect exosomal microRNAs in human sera. The tCLN biochip allows the discrimination of tumor-derived exosomes from their non-tumor counterparts, and thus achieves higher detection sensitivity and specificity than qRT-PCR. We have demonstrated the clinical utility of the tCLN biochip in lung cancer diagnosis using sera from normal controls, therapy-naive early stage and late stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Total five microRNAs (miR-21, miR-25, miR-155, miR-210, and miR-486) were selected as the biomarkers. Each microRNA biomarker measured by tCLN assay showed higher sensitivity and specificity in lung cancer detection than that measured by qRT-PCR. When all five microRNAs were combined, the tCLN assay distinguished normal controls from all NSCLC patients with sensitivity of 0.969, specificity of 0.933 and AUC of 0.970, and provided much better diagnostic accuracy than qRT-PCR (sensitivity = 0.469, specificity = 1.000, AUC = 0.791). Remarkably, the tCLN assay achieved absolute sensitivity and specificity in discriminating early stage NSCLC patients from normal controls, demonstrating its great potential as a liquid biopsy assay for lung cancer early detection.
Project description:Understanding the in vivo fate of lipoplex, which is composed of cationic liposomes and DNA, is an important issue toward gene therapy. In disease conditions, the fate of lipoplex might change compared with the normal condition. Here, we examined the contribution of interaction with serum components to in vivo transfection using lipoplex in hepatitis mice. Prior to administration, lipoplex was incubated with serum or albumin. In the liver, the interaction with albumin enhanced gene expression in hepatitis mice, while in the lung, the interaction with serum or albumin enhanced it. In normal mice, the interaction with albumin did not enhance hepatic and pulmonary gene expression. Furthermore, hepatic and pulmonary gene expression levels of albumin-interacted lipoplex were correlated with serum transaminases in hepatitis mice. The albumin interaction increased the hepatic accumulation of lipoplex and serum tumor necrosis factor-? level. We suggest that the interaction with albumin enhanced the inflammation level after the administration of lipoplex in hepatitis mice. Consequently, the enhancement of the inflammation level might enhance the gene expression level. Information obtained in the current study will be valuable toward future clinical application of the lipoplex.
Project description:Background:With the advances in radiopharmaceutical research, the development of image-guided therapy has become a major interest. While the development of theranostic nanotherapeutics is frequently associated with cancer chemotherapy, phototherapy and radiotherapy, there is little information available on the in vivo monitoring of gene delivery systems and the application of image-guided approach in gene therapy. The goal of this work was to determine the in vivo behavior of DNA delivery nanosystems - based on cationic gemini surfactants - designed for image-guided gene therapy. We tested the feasibility of monitoring tumor accumulation of gene delivery nanoparticles by positron emission tomography. Methods:To be able to conjugate radiotracers to the nanoparticles, a deferoxamine-modified gemini surfactant was synthesized, DNA-containing lipoplex nanoparticles were formulated, and radiolabeled with Zirconium-89 (89Zr). The pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of 89Zr labeled surfactant and 89Zr labeled nanoparticles were monitored in mice by microPET/CT imaging and ex vivo gamma counting. Results:Modification of the nanoparticles with deferoxamine did not alter their physicochemical properties. The radiolabeled nanoparticles (labeling efficiency of 95±3%) were stable in PBS and serum. The biological half-life of the 89Zr labeled nanoparticles was significantly higher compared to 89Zr labeled surfactant. As expected, the nanoparticles had significantly higher liver accumulation than the radiolabeled surfactant alone and lower kidney accumulation. Tumor uptake was detected at 2 hours post injection and decreased throughout the 3-day monitoring. Conclusion:We propose that radiolabeling DNA delivery lipoplex nanosystems is a promising approach for the design and optimization of image-guided nanomedicines, especially in the context of cancer gene therapy.
Project description:An acid-degradable polymer-caged lipoplex (PCL) platform consisting of a cationic lipoplex core and a biocompatible, pH-responsive polymer shell has been developed for the effective delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) through a combination of facile loading, rapid acid-triggered release, cellular internalization, and effective endosomal escape. In vitro testing of this degradable PCL delivery platform reveals ?45- and ?2.5-fold enhancement of enhanced green fluorescent protein knockdown in cancer cells in comparison to either free siRNA or siRNA-loaded non-acid-degradable lipoplex formulations, respectively.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains one of the major causes of cancer related deaths. Although ultrasonography (US), computed tomography (CT) and/or high-cost magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been shown to improve early detection of liver cancer and mortality rates in high-risk individuals, such imaging based methods are limited by high rates of false positivity leading to unnecessary patient anxiety and invasive procedures. Complementary blood biomarkers could increase the accuracy of early detection. Although Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in blood is widely used in HCC screening and diagnosis, the false-negative rate as high as 30% and 40% is found in advanced HCC and early stage HCC respectively. We detected AFP messenger RNA (mRNA) in extracellular vesicles (EVs) in patient plasma using designed molecular beacons and a novel tethered lipoplex nanoparticle (TLN) biochip. Together with glypican-3 (GPC-3) mRNA, another well-known HCC marker, we observed much improved performance of AFP protein-based HCC detection. Comparing normal donors (N = 38) and HCC patients (N = 40), our TLN biochip using EV AFP and GPC-3 mRNAs provided an AUC (area under the ROC curve) of 0.995, better than that of a single marker. This 2-mRNA combination also provided a perfect positive predictive value (PPV = 1) at a negative predictive value (NPV) of 0.95 and 20% prevalence, while the blood AFP protein or plasma EV GPC3 mRNA alone could only provide a PPV of 0.61 and 0.79 respectively at the same conditions. Thus, this facile new method may complement current models for risk stratification in liver cancer screening, therapeutic monitoring, and after-treatment surveillance. However, large scale validation will need to be conducted to confirm its clinical potential.
Project description:Multicomponent lipoplexes have recently emerged as especially promising transfection candidates, as they are from 10 to 100 times more efficient than binary complexes usually employed for gene delivery purposes. Previously, we investigated a number of chemical-physical properties of DNA-lipid complexes that were proposed to affect transfection efficiency (TE) of lipoplexes, such as nanoscale structure, size, surface potential, DNA-protection ability and DNA release from complexes upon interaction with cellular lipids. Although some minor differences between multicomponent and binary lipoplexes were found, they did not correlate clearly with efficiency. Instead, here we show that a marked difference between the cell internalization mechanism of binary and multicomponent lipoplexes does exist. Multicomponent lipoplexes significantly transfect cells at 4?°C, when endocytosis does not take place suggesting that they can enter cells via a temperature-independent mechanism. Confocal fluorescence microscopy experiments showed the existence of a correlation between endosomal escape and TE. Multicomponent lipoplexes exhibited a distinctive ability of endosomal escape and release DNA into the nucleus, whereas, poorly efficient binary lipoplexes exhibited minor, if any, endosomal rupture ability and remained confined in perinuclear late endosomes. Stopped-flow mixing measurements showed that the fusion rates of multicomponent cationic liposomes with anionic vesicles, used as model systems of cell membranes, were definitely shorter than those of binary liposomes. As either lipoplex uptake and endosomal escape involve fusion between lipoplex and cellular membranes, we suggest that a mechanism of lipoplex-cellular membrane interaction, driven by lipid mixing between cationic and anionic cellular lipids, does explain the TE boost of multicomponent lipoplexes.
Project description:In this study, we developed anionic polymer-coated liposome/siRNA complexes (lipoplexes) with chondroitin sulfate C (CS), poly-l-glutamic acid (PGA) and poly-aspartic acid (PAA) for siRNA delivery by intravenous injection, and evaluated the biodistribution and gene silencing effect in mice. The sizes of CS-, PGA- and PAA-coated lipoplexes were about 200?nm and their ?-potentials were negative. CS-, PGA- and PAA-coated lipoplexes did not induce agglutination after mixing with erythrocytes. In terms of biodistribution, siRNAs after intravenous administration of cationic lipoplexes were largely observed in the lungs, but those of CS-, PGA- and PAA-coated lipoplexes were in both the liver and the kidneys, indicating that siRNA might be partially released from the anionic polymer-coated lipoplexes in the blood circulation and accumulate in the kidney, although the lipoplexes can prevent the agglutination with blood components. To increase the association between siRNA and cationic liposome, we used cholesterol-modified siRNA (siRNA-Chol) for preparation of the lipoplexes. When CS-, PGA- and PAA-coated lipoplexes of siRNA-Chol were injected into mice, siRNA-Chol was mainly observed in the liver, not in the kidneys. In terms of the suppression of gene expression in vivo, apolipoprotein B (ApoB) mRNA in the liver was significantly reduced 48?h after single intravenous injection of PGA-coated lipoplex of ApoB siRNA-Chol (2.5?mg?siRNA/kg), but not cationic, CS- and PAA-coated lipoplexes. In terms of toxicity after intravenous injection, CS-, PGA- and PAA-coated lipoplexes did not increase GOT and GPT concentrations in blood. From these findings, PGA coatings for cationic lipoplex of siRNA-Chol might produce a systemic vector of siRNA to the liver.
Project description:Microvesicles and exosomes are nanoparticles released from cells and can contain small RNAs, mRNA and proteins that affect cells at distant sites. In sheep, endogenous beta retroviruses (enJSRVs) are expressed in the endometrial epithelia of the uterus and can be transferred to the conceptus trophectoderm. One potential mechanism of enJSRVs transfer from the uterus to the conceptus is via exosomes/microvesicles. Therefore, studies were conducted to evaluate exosomes in the uterine luminal fluid (ULF) of sheep. Exosomes/microvesicles (hereafter referred to as extracellular vesicles) were isolated from the ULF of day 14 cyclic and pregnant ewes using ExoQuick-TC. Transmission electron microscopy and nanoparticle tracking analysis found the isolates contained vesicles that ranged from 50 to 200 nm in diameter. The isolated extracellular vesicles were positive for two common markers of exosomes (CD63 and HSP70) by Western blot analysis. Proteins in the extracellular vesicles were determined by mass spectrometry and Western blot analysis. Extracellular vesicle RNA was analyzed for small RNAs by sequencing and enJSRVs RNA by RT-PCR. The ULF extracellular vesicles contained a large number of small RNAs and miRNAs including 81 conserved mature miRNAs. Cyclic and pregnant ULF extracellular vesicles contained enJSRVs env and gag RNAs that could be delivered to heterologous cells in vitro. These studies support the hypothesis that ULF extracellular vesicles can deliver enJSRVs RNA to the conceptus, which is important as enJSRVs regulate conceptus trophectoderm development. Importantly, these studies support the idea that extracellular vesicles containing select miRNAs, RNAs and proteins are present in the ULF and likely have a biological role in conceptus-endometrial interactions important for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy.
Project description:Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have recently emerged as intercellular conveyors of biological information and disease biomarkers. Identification and characterization of RNA species in single EVs are currently challenging. Molecular beacons (MBs) represent an attractive means for detecting specific RNA molecules. Coupling the MBs to cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) provides a fast, effective, and membrane-type agnostic means to deliver MBs across the plasma membrane and into the cytosol. Here, we generated RBCs-derived EVs by complement activation and tested the ability of MBs coupled with CPP to detect miRNAs from RBC-EVs. Our results showed that RBC and RBC-EVs miRNA-451a can be detected using MB-CPP, and the respective fluorescence levels can be measured by nano-flow cytometry. MB-based detection of RNA via nano-flow cytometry creates a powerful new analytical framework in which a simple addition of a reagent allows profiling of specific RNA species present within certain EV subsets.
Project description:Molecular beacons (MBs) have shown great potential for the imaging of RNAs within single living cells; however, the ability to perform accurate measurements of RNA expression can be hampered by false-positives resulting from nonspecific interactions and/or nuclease degradation. These false-positives could potentially be avoided by introducing chemically modified oligonucleotides into the MB design. In this study, fluorescence microscopy experiments were performed to elucidate the subcellular trafficking, false-positive signal generation, and functionality of 2'-O-methyl (2Me) and 2'-O-methyl-phosphorothioate (2MePS) MBs. The 2Me MBs exhibited rapid nuclear sequestration and a gradual increase in fluorescence over time, with nearly 50% of the MBs being opened nonspecifically within 24 h. In contrast, the 2MePS MBs elicited an instantaneous increase in false-positives, corresponding to approximately 5-10% of the MBs being open, but little increase was observed over the next 24 h. Moreover, trafficking to the nucleus was slower. After 24 h, both MBs were localized in the nucleus and lysosomal compartments, but only the 2MePS MBs were still functional. When the MBs were retained in the cytoplasm, via conjugation to NeutrAvidin, a significant reduction in false-positives and improvement in functionality was observed. Overall, these results have significant implications for the design and applications of MBs for intracellular RNA measurement.