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Sci Transl Med. 2012 Apr 18;4(130):130ra48. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003601.

Targeted delivery of PLK1-siRNA by ScFv suppresses Her2+ breast cancer growth and metastasis.

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Breast Tumor Center, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510120, China.


A major obstacle to developing small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) as cancer drugs is their intracellular delivery to disseminated cancer cells. Fusion proteins of single-chain fragmented antibodies (ScFvs) and positively charged peptides deliver siRNAs into specific target cells. However, the therapeutic potential of ScFv-mediated siRNA delivery has not been evaluated in cancer. Here, we tested whether Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) siRNAs complexed with a Her2-ScFv-protamine peptide fusion protein (F5-P) could suppress Her2(+) breast cancer cell lines and primary human cancers in orthotopic breast cancer models. PLK1-siRNAs transferred by F5-P inhibited target gene expression, reduced proliferation, and induced apoptosis of Her2(+) breast cancer cell lines and primary human cancer cells in vitro without triggering an interferon response. Intravenously injected F5-P/PLK1-siRNA complexes concentrated in orthotopic Her2(+) breast cancer xenografts and persisted for at least 72 hours, leading to suppressed PLK1 gene expression and tumor cell apoptosis. The intravenously injected siRNA complexes retarded Her2(+) breast tumor growth, reduced metastasis, and prolonged survival without evident toxicity. F5-P-mediated delivery of a cocktail of PLK1, CCND1, and AKT siRNAs was more effective than an equivalent dose of PLK1-siRNAs alone. These data suggest that F5-P could be used to deliver siRNAs to treat Her2(+) breast cancer.

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