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J Mater Chem B. 2014 Dec 14;2(46):8165-8173.

Highly compacted pH-responsive DNA nanoparticles mediate transgene silencing in experimental glioma.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 22 South Green Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 (USA) ; Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, MD 21201 (USA) ; Center for Nanomedicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 400 North Broadway Street, Baltimore, MD 21231 (USA).
2
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 22 South Green Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 (USA) ; Center for Nanomedicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 400 North Broadway Street, Baltimore, MD 21231 (USA).
3
Center for Nanomedicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 400 North Broadway Street, Baltimore, MD 21231 (USA).
4
Center for Nanomedicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 400 North Broadway Street, Baltimore, MD 21231 (USA) ; Department of Ophthalmology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Neurosurgery, and Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 400 North Broadway Street, Baltimore, MD 21231 (USA) ; Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, Institute for NanoBioTechnology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, 21231 (USA).

Abstract

Complex genetic mutations are common in brain cancer, making gene therapy an attractive approach to repair or modulate altered genes and cellular pathways. Non-viral gene vectors can offer DNA delivery without the risk of immunogenicity and/or insertional mutagenesis that are common with viral vectors. We developed pH-responsive DNA nanoparticles, CH12K18PEG5k, by inserting a poly-L-histidine segment between PEG and poly-L-lysine to engineer a triblock copolymer. CH12K18PEG5k DNA nanoparticles trafficked through clathrin-dependent endocytosis (CME) as the primary pathway in mouse glioblastoma (GBM) cells, and protected plasmid DNA from both DNase-mediated and acidic lysosomal degradation. CH12K18PEG5k DNA nanoparticles effectively silenced a tumor-specific transgene (firefly luciferase) following direct injection into mouse intracranial GBM. Toxicity and histological analysis showed no evidence of acute or delayed inflammatory responses. These results demonstrate the utility of using this DNA nanoparticle-based technology for delivering genes to tumor cells as a possible therapeutic approach for patients with brain cancer.

KEYWORDS:

Brain Cancer; DNA Nanoparticles; GBM; Gene Therapy; shRNA

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