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Bioconjug Chem. 2008 Nov 19;19(11):2156-62. doi: 10.1021/bc800249n.

LHRH receptor-mediated delivery of siRNA using polyelectrolyte complex micelles self-assembled from siRNA-PEG-LHRH conjugate and PEI.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, South Korea.


Polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) micelles modified with cancer cell targeting moieties were prepared for intracellular delivery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) small interfering RNA (siRNA). A luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) peptide analogue was coupled as a cancer targeting ligand to the distal end of the poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-siRNA conjugate. The siRNA-PEG-LHRH conjugate self-assembled to form nanosized PEC micelles upon mixing with poly(ethylenimine) (PEI) via ionic interactions. The PEC micelles showed spherical morphology with a hydrodynamic diameter of ca. 150 nm. For LHRH receptor overexpressing ovarian cancer cells (A2780), the PEC micelles with LHRH exhibited enhanced cellular uptake compared to those without LHRH, resulting in increased VEGF gene silencing efficiency via receptor-mediated endocytosis. This study showed that PEC micelles decorated with specific cell-recognizable targeting ligands could be used for targeted delivery of siRNA.

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