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ACS Nano. 2010 Aug 24;4(8):4539-50. doi: 10.1021/nn100690m.

Engineered design of mesoporous silica nanoparticles to deliver doxorubicin and P-glycoprotein siRNA to overcome drug resistance in a cancer cell line.

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  • 1Division of NanoMedicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


Overexpression of drug efflux transporters such as P-glycoprotein (Pgp) protein is one of the major mechanisms for multiple drug resistance (MDR) in cancer cells. A new approach to overcome MDR is to use a co-delivery strategy that utilizes a siRNA to silence the expression of efflux transporter together with an appropriate anticancer drug for drug resistant cells. In this paper, we report that mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNP) can be functionalized to effectively deliver a chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin (Dox) as well as Pgp siRNA to a drug-resistant cancer cell line (KB-V1 cells) to accomplish cell killing in an additive or synergistic fashion. The functionalization of the particle surface with a phosphonate group allows electrostatic binding of Dox to the porous interior, from where the drug could be released by acidification of the medium under abiotic and biotic conditions. In addition, phosphonate modification also allows exterior coating with the cationic polymer, polyethylenimine, which endows the MSNP to contemporaneously deliver Pgp siRNA. The dual delivery of Dox and siRNA in KB-V1 cells was capable of increasing the intracellular as well as intranuclear drug concentration to levels exceeding that of free Dox or the drug being delivered by MSNP in the absence of siRNA codelivery. These results demonstrate that it is possible to use the MSNP platform to effectively deliver a siRNA that knocks down gene expression of a drug exporter that can be used to improve drug sensitivity to a chemotherapeutic agent.

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