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Selective modification of HK peptides enhances siRNA silencing of tumor targets in vivo.
S-T Chou; Q Leng; P Scaria; M Woodle; A J Mixson (Profiled Author: Archibald Mixson)
Department of Pathology, University of Maryland Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Cancer gene therapy 2011;18(10):707-16.
Our research has focused on systemic delivery of small interference RNA (siRNA) by branched peptides composed of histidine and lysine. After studying several histidine-lysine (HK) peptides, one four-branched peptide, H3K(+H)4b, with a predominant repeating pattern of -HHHK-, was found to be an effective carrier of siRNA. Although the unmodified H3K(+H)4b carrier of siRNA targeting an oncogene was previously shown to have promise in a tumor-bearing mouse model, we sought to develop a more effective HK carrier of siRNA in this study. Our primary goal was to determine whether different ligand (cyclic RGD)-pegylation patterns on the H3K(+H)4b peptide affect siRNA delivery in vitro and in vivo. We compared the unmodified H3K(+H)4b with two modified H3K(+H)4b peptides for their ability to deliver siRNA in a tumor-bearing mouse model; one modified HK peptide, (RGD-PEG)(4)-H3K(+H)4b, had four cyclic RGD-polyethylene glycol (cRGD-PEG) conjugates per molecule, whereas the other peptide, (RGD-PEG)-H3K(+H)4b, had one cRGD-PEG per molecule. Although the modified HK peptides by themselves did not form stable nanoplexes with siRNA, combination of a highly charged unmodified HK peptide, H2K4b, with either of the modified HK peptides did form stable siRNA nanoparticles. For in vitro experiments with MDA-MB-435 cells that expressed luciferase (Luc), the H3K(+H)4b siRNA nanoplexes targeting Luc decreased its activity by 90% compared with negligible downregulation by the modified H3K(+H)4b nanoplexes (P<0.01). In contrast, the two modified H3K(+H)4b siRNA nanoplexes administered intravenously were more effective than the H3K(+H)4b nanoplexes in silencing Luc in a tumor xenograft model. The Luc activity in tumor lysates of mice administered H3K(+H)4b, (RGD-PEG)-H3K(+H)4b and (RGD-PEG)(4)-H3K(+H)4b nanoplexes decreased by 18, 35 and 75%, respectively. Thus, the siRNA nanoplex incorporating the highly modified peptide, (RGD-PEG)(4)-H3K(+H)4b, was the most effective at silencing its target in vivo (P<0.01). These studies demonstrate that selectively modified HK polymers are promising candidates for targeting oncogenes with siRNA.
1 Originating Grant
MIXSON, ARCHIBALD JAMES
1 July 2009 - 31 May 2013
NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE
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