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Acta Biomater. 2016 Oct 15;44:341-54. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2016.08.029. Epub 2016 Aug 18.

An effective tumor-targeting strategy utilizing hypoxia-sensitive siRNA delivery system for improved anti-tumor outcome.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substance and Function of Natural Medicines, Beijing City Key Laboratory of Drug Delivery Technology and Novel Formulations, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100050, China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substance and Function of Natural Medicines, Beijing City Key Laboratory of Drug Delivery Technology and Novel Formulations, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100050, China. Electronic address: zggao@imm.ac.cn.

Abstract

Hypoxia is a feature of most solid tumors, targeting hypoxia is considered as the best validated yet not extensively exploited strategy in cancer therapy. Here, we reported a novel tumor-targeting strategy using a hypoxia-sensitive siRNA delivery system. In the study, 2-nitroimidazole (NI), a hydrophobic component that can be converted to hydrophilic 2-aminoimidazole (AI) through bioreduction under hypoxic conditions, was conjugated to the alkylated polyethyleneimine (bPEI1.8k-C6) to form amphiphilic bPEI1.8k-C6-NI polycations. bPEI1.8k-C6-NI could self-assemble into micelle-like aggregations in aqueous, which contributed to the improved stability of the bPEI1.8k-C6-NI/siRNA polyplexes, resulted in increased cellular uptake. After being transported into the hypoxic tumor cells, the selective nitro-to-amino reduction would cause structural change and elicit a relatively loose structure to facilitate the siRNA dissociation in the cytoplasm, for enhanced gene silencing efficiency ultimately. Therefore, the conflict between the extracellular stability and the intracellular siRNA release ability of the polyplexes was solved by introducing the hypoxia-responsive unit. Consequently, the survivin-targeted siRNA loaded polyplexes shown remarkable anti-tumor effect not only in hypoxic cells, but also in tumor spheroids and tumor-bearing mice, indicating that the hypoxia-sensitive siRNA delivery system had great potential for tumor-targeted therapy.

STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE:

Hypoxia is one of the most remarkable features of most solid tumors, and targeting hypoxia is considered as the best validated strategy in cancer therapy. However, in the past decades, there were few reports about using this strategy in the drug delivery system, especially in siRNA delivery system. Therefore, we constructed a hypoxia-sensitive siRNA delivery system utilizing a hypoxia-responsive unit, 2-nitroimidazole, by which the unavoidable conflict between improved extracellular stability and promoted intracellular siRNA release in the same delivery system could be effectively solved, resulting in enhanced siRNA silencing efficiency in tumor cells. To our knowledge, the described work is the first demonstration of a siRNA delivery system using a hypoxia trigger for regulation of siRNA release, which represents a new strategy for tumor-targeted therapy, and it is expected that this meaningful strategy must be widely applied in the future.

KEYWORDS:

2-Nitroimidazole; Hypoxia; Polyethyleneimine; Tumor; siRNA delivery

PMID:
27545812
DOI:
10.1016/j.actbio.2016.08.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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