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Nanomedicine (Lond). 2012 Sep;7(9):1297-309. Epub 2012 May 14.

Prostate-targeted biodegradable nanoparticles loaded with androgen receptor silencing constructs eradicate xenograft tumors in mice.

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Department of Urology, The University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA.



Prostate cancer is the major cause of cancer death in men and the androgen receptor (AR) has been shown to play a critical role in the progression of the disease. Our previous reports showed that knocking down the expression of the AR gene using a siRNA-based approach in prostate cancer cells led to apoptotic cell death and xenograft tumor eradication. In this study, we utilized a biodegradable nanoparticle to deliver the therapeutic AR shRNA construct specifically to prostate cancer cells.


The biodegradable nanoparticles were fabricated using a poly(dl-lactic-co-glycolic acid) polymer and the AR shRNA constructs were loaded inside the particles. The surface of the nanoparticles were then conjugated with prostate-specific membrane antigen aptamer A10 for prostate cancer cell-specific targeting.


A10-conjugation largely enhanced cellular uptake of nanoparticles in both cell culture- and xenograft-based models. The efficacy of AR shRNA encapsulated in nanoparticles on AR gene silencing was confirmed in PC-3/AR-derived xenografts in nude mice. The therapeutic property of A10-conjugated AR shRNA-loaded nanoparticles was evaluated in xenograft models with different prostate cancer cell lines: 22RV1, LAPC-4 and LNCaP. Upon two injections of the AR shRNA-loaded nanoparticles, rapid tumor regression was observed over 2 weeks. Consistent with previous reports, A10 aptamer conjugation significantly enhanced xenograft tumor regression compared with nonconjugated nanoparticles.


These data demonstrated that tissue-specific delivery of AR shRNA using a biodegradable nanoparticle approach represents a novel therapy for life-threatening prostate cancers.

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