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Nano Lett. 2017 Jul 12;17(7):4427-4435. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b01571. Epub 2017 Jun 26.

Tumor Microenvironment-Responsive Multistaged Nanoplatform for Systemic RNAi and Cancer Therapy.

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Center for Nanomedicine and Department of Anesthesiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School , Boston, Massachusetts 02115, United States.
King Abdulaziz University , Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia.


While RNA interference (RNAi) therapy has demonstrated significant potential for cancer treatment, the effective and safe systemic delivery of RNAi agents such as small interfering RNA (siRNA) into tumor cells in vivo remains challenging. We herein reported a unique multistaged siRNA delivery nanoparticle (NP) platform, which is comprised of (i) a polyethylene glycol (PEG) surface shell, (ii) a sharp tumor microenvironment (TME) pH-responsive polymer that forms the NP core, and (iii) charge-mediated complexes of siRNA and tumor cell-targeting- and penetrating-peptide-amphiphile (TCPA) that are encapsulated in the NP core. When the rationally designed, long circulating polymeric NPs accumulate in tumor tissues after intravenous administration, the targeted siRNA-TCPA complexes can be rapidly released via TME pH-mediated NP disassembly for subsequent specific targeting of tumor cells and cytosolic transport, thus achieving efficient gene silencing. In vivo results further demonstrate that the multistaged NP delivery of siRNA against bromodomain 4 (BRD4), a recently discovered target protein that regulates the development and progression of prostate cancer (PCa), can significantly inhibit PCa tumor growth.


Nanoparticle; TME-responsive; cancer therapy; multistaged delivery; siRNA

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