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Int J Pharm. 2011 Feb 28;405(1-2):196-202. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2010.11.051. Epub 2010 Dec 4.

Evaluation of a multi-functional nanocarrier for targeted breast cancer iNOS gene therapy.

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School of Pharmacy, McClay Research Centre, Queen's University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK.


The present study determines whether the novel designer biomimetic vector (DBV) can condense and deliver the cytotoxic iNOS gene to breast cancer cells to achieve a therapeutic effect. We have previously shown the benefits of iNOS for cancer gene therapy but the stumbling block to future development has been the delivery system. The DBV was expressed, purified and complexed with the iNOS gene. The particle size and charge were determined via dynamic light scattering techniques. The toxicity of the DBV/iNOS nanoparticles was quantified using the cell toxicity and clonogenic assays. Over expression of iNOS was confirmed via Western blotting and Griess test. The DBV delivery system fully condensed the iNOS gene with nanoparticles less than 100nm. Transfection with the DBV/iNOS nanoparticles resulted in a maximum of 62% cell killing and less than 20% clonogenicity. INOS overexpression was confirmed and total nitrite levels were in the range of 18μM. We report for the first time that the DBV can successfully deliver iNOS and achieve a therapeutic effect. There is significant cytotoxicity coupled with evidence of a bystander effect. We conclude that the success of the DBV fusion protein in the delivery of iNOS in vitro is worthy of future in vivo experiments.

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