Functional polyesters enable selective siRNA delivery to lung cancer over matched normal cells.
ABSTRACT: Conventional chemotherapeutics nonselectively kill all rapidly dividing cells, which produces numerous side effects. To address this challenge, we report the discovery of functional polyesters that are capable of delivering siRNA drugs selectively to lung cancer cells and not to normal lung cells. Selective polyplex nanoparticles (NPs) were identified by high-throughput library screening on a unique pair of matched cancer/normal cell lines obtained from a single patient. Selective NPs promoted rapid endocytosis into HCC4017 cancer cells, but were arrested at the membrane of HBEC30-KT normal cells during the initial transfection period. When injected into tumor xenografts in mice, cancer-selective NPs were retained in tumors for over 1 wk, whereas nonselective NPs were cleared within hours. This translated to improved siRNA-mediated cancer cell apoptosis and significant suppression of tumor growth. Selective NPs were also able to mediate gene silencing in xenograft and orthotopic tumors via i.v. injection or aerosol inhalation, respectively. Importantly, this work highlights that different cells respond differentially to the same drug carrier, an important factor that should be considered in the design and evaluation of all NP carriers. Because no targeting ligands are required, these functional polyester NPs provide an exciting alternative approach for selective drug delivery to tumor cells that may improve efficacy and reduce adverse side effects of cancer therapies.
Project description:To develop widely applicable diagnostic and potentially therapeutic approaches overcoming protein heterogeneity in human cancer, we have developed a technology to unbiasedly select high specificity compound(s) that bind any biomolecule (e.g., proteins, lipids, carbohydrates) presented on the cancer cell surface but not on normal cells. We utilized a peptidomimetic based on-bead two-color (OBTC) combinatorial cell screen that can detect differences between two cell surfaces at high accuracy by looking for beads (where each bead in the library had one peptide-peptoid hybrid on the surface) that only bound cancer but not normal cells. We screened a library of 393?216 compounds targeting HCC4017 lung adenocarcinoma cells (labeled in red) in the presence of HBEC30KT normal bronchial epithelial cells (labeled in green) derived from the same tissue of the same patient. This screen identified a peptide-peptoid hybrid called PPS1 which displayed high specific binding for HCC4017 cancer cells over HBEC30KT cells. Specificity was validated through on-bead, ELISA-like and magnetic bead pulldown studies, while a scrambled version of PPS1 did not show any binding. Of interest, the simple dimeric version (PPS1D1) displayed cytotoxic activity on HCC4017 cells, but not on normal HBEC30KT cells. PPS1D1 also strongly accumulated in HCC4017 lung cancer xenografts in mice over control constructs. We conclude that such combinatorial screens using tumor and normal cells from the same patient have significant potential to develop new reagents for cancer biology, diagnosis, and potentially therapy.
Project description:The overexpression of the breast cancer resistance protein (ABCG2) confers resistance to Adriamycin (ADR) in breast cancer. The silencing of ABCG2 using small interfering RNA (siRNA) could be a promising approach to overcome multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer cells. To deliver ABCG2-siRNA effectively into breast cancer cells, we used mPEG-PLGA-PLL (PEAL) nanoparticles (NPs) with ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD). PEAL NPs were prepared with an emulsion-solvent evaporation method. The NPs size was about 131.5 ± 6.5 nm. The siRNA stability in serum was enhanced. The intracellular ADR concentration increased after the introduction of siRNA-loaded NPs. After intravenous injection of PEAL NPs in tumor-bearing mice, the ABCG2-siRNA-loaded NPs with UTMD efficiently silenced the ABCG2 gene and enhanced the ADR susceptibility of MCF-7/ADR (ADR resistant human breast cancer cells). The siRNA-loaded NPs with UTMD + ADR showed better tumor inhibition effect and good safety in vivo. These results indicate that ADR-chemotherapy in combination with ABCG2-siRNA is an attractive strategy to treat breast cancer.
Project description:Systemic, non-viral siRNA delivery for cancer treatment is mainly achieved via condensation by cationic materials (e.g., lipids and cationic polymers), which nevertheless, suffers from poor serum stability, non-specific tissue interaction, and unsatisfactory membrane activity against efficient in vivo gene knockdown. Here, we report the design of a metastable, cancer-targeting siRNA delivery system based on two functional polymers, PVBLG-8, a cationic, helical cell-penetrating polypeptide, and poly(l-glutamic acid) (PLG), an anionic random-coiled polypeptide. PVBLG-8 with rigid, linear structure showed weak siRNA condensation capability, and PLG with flexible chains was incorporated as a stabilizer which provided sufficient molecular entanglement with PVBLG-8 to encapsulate the siRNA within the polymeric network. The obtained PVBLG-8/siRNA/PLG nanoparticles (PSP NPs) with positive charges were sequentially coated with additional amount of PLG, which reversed the surface charge from positive to negative to yield the metastable PVBLG-8/siRNA/PLG@PLG (PSPP) NPs. The PSPP NPs featured desired serum stability during circulation to enhance tumor accumulation via the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. Upon acidification in the tumor extracellular microenvironment and intracellular endosomes, the partial protonation of PLG on PSPP NPs surface would lead to dissociation of PLG coating from NPs, exposure of the highly membrane-active PVBLG-8, and surface charge reversal from negative to positive, which subsequently promoted tumor penetration, selective cancer cell internalization, and efficient endolysosomal escape. When siRNA against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was encapsulated, the PSPP NPs showed excellent tumor penetration capability, tumor cell uptake level, EGFR silencing efficiency, and tumor growth inhibition efficacy in U-87 MG glioblastoma tumor spheroids in vitro and in xenograft tumor-bearing mice in vivo, outperforming the PSP NPs and several commercial reagents such as Lipofectamine 2000 and poly(l-lysine) (PLL). This study therefore demonstrates a facile and unique design approach of metastable and charge reversal NPs, which overcomes multiple biological barriers against systemic siRNA delivery toward anti-cancer treatment.
Project description:Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an anionic phospholipid maintained on the inner-leaflet of the cell membrane and is externalized in malignant cells. We previously launched a careful unbiased selection targeting biomolecules (e.g. protein, lipid or carbohydrate) distinct to cancer cells by exploiting HCC4017 lung cancer and HBEC30KT normal epithelial cells derived from the same patient, identifying HCC4017 specific peptide-peptoid hybrid PPS1. In this current study, we identified PS as the target of PPS1. We validated direct PPS1 binding to PS using ELISA-like assays, lipid dot blot and liposome based binding assays. In addition, PPS1 recognized other negatively charged and cancer specific lipids such as phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylglycerol. PPS1 did not bind to neutral lipids such as phosphatidylethanolamine found in cancer and phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin found in normal cells. Further we found that the dimeric version of PPS1 (PPS1D1) displayed strong cytotoxicity towards lung cancer cell lines that externalize PS, but not normal cells. PPS1D1 showed potent single agent anti-tumor activity and enhanced the efficacy of docetaxel in mice bearing H460 lung cancer xenografts. Since PS and anionic phospholipid externalization is common across many cancer types, PPS1 may be an alternative to overcome limitations of protein targeted agents.
Project description:While immunotherapy holds great promise for combating cancer, the limited efficacy due to an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and systemic toxicity hinder the broader application of cancer immunotherapy. Here, we report a combinatorial immunotherapy approach that uses a highly efficient and tumor-selective gene carrier to improve anticancer efficacy and circumvent the systemic toxicity. In this study, we engineered tumor-targeted lipid-dendrimer-calcium-phosphate (TT-LDCP) nanoparticles (NPs) with thymine-functionalized dendrimers that exhibit not only enhanced gene delivery capacity but also immune adjuvant properties by activating the stimulator of interferon genes (STING)-cGAS pathway. TT-LDCP NPs delivered siRNA against immune checkpoint ligand PD-L1 and immunostimulatory IL-2-encoding plasmid DNA to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), increased tumoral infiltration and activation of CD8+ T cells, augmented the efficacy of cancer vaccine immunotherapy, and suppressed HCC progression. Our work presents nanotechnology-enabled dual delivery of siRNA and plasmid DNA that selectively targets and reprograms the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment to improve cancer immunotherapy.
Project description:SW044248, identified through a screen for chemicals that are selectively toxic for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines, was found to rapidly inhibit macromolecular synthesis in sensitive, but not in insensitive, cells. SW044248 killed approximately 15% of a panel of 74 NSCLC cell lines and was nontoxic to immortalized human bronchial cell lines. The acute transcriptional response to SW044248 in sensitive HCC4017 cells correlated significantly with inhibitors of topoisomerases and SW044248 inhibited topoisomerase 1 (Top1) but not topoisomerase 2. SW044248 inhibited Top1 differently from camptothecin and camptothecin did not show the same selective toxicity as SW044248. Elimination of Top1 by siRNA partially protected cells from SW044248, although removing Top1 was itself eventually toxic. Cells resistant to SW044248 responded to the compound by upregulating CDKN1A and siRNA to CDKN1A sensitized those cells to SW044248. Thus, at least part of the differential sensitivity of NSCLC cells to SW044248 is the ability to upregulate CDKN1A.
Project description:Formation of stable, long-circulating siRNA polyplexes is a significant challenge in translation of intravenously-delivered, polymeric RNAi cancer therapies. Here, we report that siRNA hydrophobization through conjugation to palmitic acid (siPA) improves stability, in vivo pharmacokinetics, and tumor gene silencing of PEGylated nanopolyplexes (siPA-NPs) with balanced cationic and hydrophobic content in the core relative to the analogous polyplexes formed with unmodified siRNA, si-NPs. Hydrophobized siPA loaded into the NPs at a lower charge ratio (N(+):P(-)) relative to unmodified siRNA, and siPA-NPs had superior resistance to siRNA cargo unpackaging in comparison to si-NPs upon exposure to the competing polyanion heparin and serum. In vitro, siPA-NPs increased uptake in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells (100% positive cells vs. 60% positive cells) but exhibited equivalent silencing of the model gene luciferase relative to si-NPs. In vivo in a murine model, the circulation half-life of intravenously-injected siPA-NPs was double that of si-NPs, resulting in a >2-fold increase in siRNA biodistribution to orthotopic MDA-MB-231 mammary tumors. The increased circulation half-life of siPA-NPs was dependent upon the hydrophobic interactions of the siRNA and the NP core component and not just siRNA hydrophobization, as siPA did not contribute to improved circulation time relative to unmodified siRNA when delivered using polyplexes with a fully cationic core. Intravenous delivery of siPA-NPs also achieved significant silencing of the model gene luciferase in vivo (?40% at 24 h after one treatment and ?60% at 48 h after two treatments) in the murine MDA-MB-231 tumor model, while si-NPs only produced a significant silencing effect after two treatments. These data suggest that stabilization of PEGylated siRNA polyplexes through a combination of hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions between siRNA cargo and the polymeric carrier improves in vivo pharmacokinetics and tumor gene silencing relative to conventional formulations that are stabilized solely by electrostatic interactions.
Project description:A powerful means to understand the cellular function of corrupt oncogenic signaling programs requires perturbing the system and monitoring the downstream consequences. Here, using a unique pair of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)/normal lung epithelial patient-derived cell lines (HCC4017/HBEC30KT), we systematically interrogated the remodeling of the NSCLC proteome upon treatment with 35 chemical perturbagens targeting a diverse array of mechanistic classes. HCC4017 and HBEC30KT cells differ significantly in their proteomic response to the same compound treatment. Using protein covariance analyses, we identified a large number of functional protein networks. For example, we found that a poorly studied protein, C5orf22, is a novel component of the WBP11/PQBP1 splicing complex. Depletion of C5orf22 leads to the aberrant splicing and expression of genes involved in cell growth and immunomodulation. In summary, we show that by systematically measuring the tumor adaptive responses at the proteomic level, an understanding could be generated that provides critical circuit-level biological insights for these pharmacologic perturbagens.
Project description:Non-viral, polymeric-based, siRNA nanoparticles (NPs) have been proposed as promising gene delivery systems. Encapsulating siRNA in targeted NPs could confer improved biological stability, extended half-life, enhanced permeability, effective tumor accumulation, and therapy. In this work, a peptide derived from apolipoprotein B100 (ApoB-P), the protein moiety of low-density lipoprotein, was used to target siRNA-loaded PEGylated NPs to the extracellular matrix/proteoglycans (ECM/PGs) of a mammary carcinoma tumor. siRNA against osteopontin (siOPN), a protein involved in breast cancer development and progression, was encapsulated into PEGylated poly(d,l-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) NPs using the double emulsion solvent diffusion technique. The NPs obtained possessed desired physicochemical properties including ~200 nm size, a neutral surface charge, and high siOPN loading of ~5 µg/mg. ApoB-P-targeted NPs exhibited both enhanced binding to isolated ECM and internalization by MDA-MB-231 human mammary carcinoma cells, in comparison to non-targeted NPs. Increased accumulation of the targeted NPs was achieved in the primary mammary tumor of mice xenografted with MDA-MB-231 mammary carcinoma cells as well as in the lungs, one of the main sites affected by metastases. siOPN NPs treatment resulted in significant inhibition of tumor growth (similar bioactivity of both formulations), accompanied with significant reduction of OPN mRNA levels (~40% knockdown of mRNA levels). We demonstrated that targeted NPs possessed enhanced tumor accumulation with increased therapeutic potential in mice models of mammary carcinoma.
Project description:A unique pH/redox dual-sensitive cationic unimolecular nanoparticle (NP) enabling excellent endosomal/lysosomal escape and efficient siRNA decomplexation inside the target cells was developed for tumor-targeted delivery of siRNA. siRNA was complexed into the cationic core of the unimolecular NP through electrostatic interactions. The cationic core used for complexing siRNA contained reducible disulfide bonds that underwent intracellular reduction owing to the presence of high concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH) inside the cells, thereby facilitating the decomplexation of siRNA from the unimolecular NPs. The cationic polymers were conjugated onto the hyperbranched core (H40) via a pH-sensitive bond, which further facilitated the decomplexation of siRNA from the NPs. In vitro studies on the siRNA release behaviors showed that dual stimuli (pH=5.3, 10mM GSH) induced the quickest release of siRNA from the NPs. In addition, the imidazole groups attached to the cationic polymer segments enhanced the endosomal/lysosomal escape of NPs via the proton sponge effect. Intracellular tracking studies revealed that siRNA delivered by unimolecular NPs was efficiently released to the cytosol. Moreover, the GE11 peptide, an anti-EGFR peptide, enhanced the cellular uptake of NPs in MDA-MB-468, an EFGR-overexpressing triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell line. The GE11-conjugated, GFP-siRNA-complexed NPs exhibited excellent GFP gene silencing efficiency in GFP-MDA-MB-468 TNBC cells without any significant cytotoxicity. Therefore, these studies suggest that this smart unimolecular NP could be a promising nanoplatform for targeted siRNA delivery to EFGR-overexpressing cancer cells.