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ACS Nano. 2015 Feb 24;9(2):1108-16. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b00067. Epub 2015 Feb 10.

Delivery of RNA nanoparticles into colorectal cancer metastases following systemic administration.

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Markey Cancer Center, ‡Department of Surgery, §Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, ∥Nanobiotechnology Center, and ⊥Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Kentucky , Lexington, Kentucky 40536, United States.


The majority of deaths from all cancers, including colorectal cancer (CRC), is a result of tumor metastasis to distant organs. To date, an effective and safe system capable of exclusively targeting metastatic cancers that have spread to distant organs or lymph nodes does not exist. Here, we constructed multifunctional RNA nanoparticles, derived from the three-way junction (3WJ) of bacteriophage phi29 motor pRNA, to target metastatic cancer cells in a clinically relevant mouse model of CRC metastasis. The RNA nanoparticles demonstrated metastatic tumor homing without accumulation in normal organ tissues surrounding metastatic tumors. The RNA nanoparticles simultaneously targeted CRC cancer cells in major sites of metastasis, such as liver, lymph nodes, and lung. Our results demonstrate the therapeutic potential of these RNA nanoparticles as a delivery system for the treatment of CRC metastasis.


RNA nanoparticle; RNA therapeutics; bacteriophage phi29; colorectal cancer; metastasis; nanobiotechnology

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