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J Control Release. 2008 Feb 18;126(1):77-84. Epub 2007 Nov 17.

Efficient gene silencing in metastatic tumor by siRNA formulated in surface-modified nanoparticles.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


We have developed a nanoparticle (NP) formulation for systemically delivering siRNA into metastatic tumors. The NP, composed of nucleic acids, a polycationic peptide and cationic liposome, was prepared in a self-assembling process. The NP was then modified by PEG-lipid containing a targeting ligand, anisamide, and thus was decorated for targeting sigma receptor expressing B16F10 tumor. The activity of the targeted NP was compared with the naked NP (no PEGylation) and non-targeted NP (no ligand). The delivery efficiency of the targeted NP was 4-fold higher than the non-targeted NP and could be competed by excess free ligand. Luciferase siRNA was used to evaluate the gene silencing activity in the B16F10 cells, which were stably transduced with a luciferase gene. The gene silencing activity of the targeted NP was significantly higher than the other formulations and lasted for 4 days. While confocal microscopy showed that the naked NP provided no tissue selectivity and non-targeted NP was ineffective for tumor uptake, the targeted NP effectively penetrated the lung metastasis, but not the liver. It resulted in 70-80% gene silencing in the metastasis model after a single i.v. injection (150 microg siRNA/kg). This effective formulation also showed very little immunotoxicity.

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