Targeted Quantum Dot Conjugates for siRNA Delivery

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Bioconjugate Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.51). 09/2007; 18(5):1391-6. DOI: 10.1021/bc060367e
Source: PubMed


Treatment of human diseases such as cancer generally involves the sequential use of diagnostic tools and therapeutic modalities. Multifunctional platforms combining therapeutic and diagnostic imaging functions in a single vehicle promise to change this paradigm. in particular, nanoparticle-based multifunctional platforms offer the potential to improve the pharmacokinetics of drug formulations, while providing attachment sites for diagnostic imaging and disease targeting features. We have applied these principles to the delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapeutics, where systemic delivery is hampered by rapid excretion and nontargeted tissue distribution. Using a PEGlyated quantum dot (QD) core as a scaffold, siRNA and tumor-homing peptides (F3) were conjugated to functional groups on the particle's surface. We found that the homing peptide was required for targeted internalization by tumor cells, and that siRNA cargo could be coattached without affecting the function of the peptide. Using an EGFP model system, the role of conjugation chemistry was investigated, with siRNA attached to the particle by disulfide cross-linkers showing greater silencing efficiency than when attached by a nonreducible thioether linkage. Since each particle contains a limited number of attachment sites, we further explored the tradeoff between number of F3 peptides and the number of siRNA per particle, leading to an optimized formulation. Delivery of these F3/siRNA-QDs to EGFP-transfected HeLa cells and release from their endosomal entrapment led to significant knockdown of EGFP signal. By designing the siRNA sequence against a therapeutic target (e.g., oncogene) instead of EGFP, this technology may be ultimately adapted to simultaneously treat and image metastatic cancer.

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    • "An siRNA and tumor-homing peptides (F3 peptides) targeting cell surface were conjugated to the end of PEG on PEGylated QDs via chemical cross-linkers.99 The addition of endosome-disrupting agents facilitated the escape of the PEGylated QD-siRNA/F3 peptides nanocarriers from endosomes, resulting in an enhanced gene-silencing efficiency. "
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    ABSTRACT: Small interfering RNA (siRNA) has proved to be a powerful tool for target-specific gene silencing via RNA interference (RNAi). Its ability to control targeted gene expression gives new hope to gene therapy as a treatment for cancers and genetic diseases. However, siRNA shows poor pharmacological properties, such as low serum stability, off-targeting, and innate immune responses, which present a significant challenge for clinical applications. In addition, siRNA cannot cross the cell membrane for RNAi activity because of its anionic property and stiff structure. Therefore, the development of a safe, stable, and efficient system for the delivery of siRNA therapeutics into the cytoplasm of targeted cells is crucial. Several nanoparticle platforms for siRNA delivery have been developed to overcome the major hurdles facing the therapeutic uses of siRNA. This review covers a broad spectrum of non-viral siRNA delivery systems developed for enhanced cellular uptake and targeted gene silencing in vitro and in vivo and discusses their characteristics and opportunities for clinical applications of therapeutic siRNA.
    Theranostics 09/2014; 4(12):1211-1232. DOI:10.7150/thno.8491 · 8.02 Impact Factor
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    • "An obvious solution to this problem is to combine chimeras with nanocarriers with endosome rupturing capabilities. Common delivery vehicles include lipids, polymers, and inorganic nanoparticles such as gold, silica, magnetic, and semiconductor nanoparticles1819202122. For siRNA immobilization, condensation, stabilization against enzymatic degradation, and endosomal escape, virtually all these nanocarriers are positively charged, and so are their siRNA complexes. "
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    ABSTRACT: siRNA-aptamer chimeras have emerged as one of the most promising approaches for targeted delivery of siRNA due to the modularity of their diblock RNA structure, relatively lower cost over other targeted delivery approaches, and, most importantly, the outstanding potential for clinical translation. However, additional challenges must be addressed for efficient RNA interference (RNAi), in particular, endosomal escape. Currently, vast majority of siRNA delivery vehicles are based on cationic materials, which form complexes with negatively charged siRNA. Unfortunately, these approaches complicate the formulations again by forming large complexes with heterogeneous sizes, unfavorable surface charges, colloidal instability, and poor targeting ligand orientation. Here, we report the development of a small and simple protein tag that complements the therapeutic and targeting functionalities of chimera with two functional domains: a dsRNA binding domain (dsRBD) for siRNA docking and a pH-dependent polyhistidine to disrupt endosomal membrane. The protein selectively tags along the siRNA block of individual chimera, rendering the overall size of the complex small, desirable for deep tissue penetration, and the aptamer block accessible for target recognition. More interestingly, we found that extending the c-terminal polyhistidine segment in the protein tag to 18 amino acids completely abolishes the RNA binding function of dsRBD.
    Scientific Reports 11/2013; 3:3129. DOI:10.1038/srep03129 · 5.58 Impact Factor
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    • "Semiconductor QDs, which are light-emitting nanoparticles, have been increasingly used as biological imaging and labeling probes [77]. QDs also have the potential of serving as photostable beacons for siRNA delivery and imaging [78–80]. However, the major problem in using QDs as multifunctional imaging probes and delivery systems is their toxicity because most well-established QDs are composed of highly toxic elements, such as cadmium, selenium, or tellurium [81]. "
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    ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) is a gene regulation mechanism initiated by RNA molecules that enables sequence-specific gene silencing by promoting degradation of specific mRNAs. Molecular therapy using small interfering RNA (siRNA) has shown great therapeutic potential for diseases caused by abnormal gene overexpression or mutation. The major challenges to application of siRNA therapeutics include the stability and effective delivery of siRNA in vivo. Important progress in nanotechnology has led to the development of efficient siRNA delivery systems. In this review, the authors discuss recent advances in nanoparticle-mediated siRNA delivery and the application of siRNA in clinical trials for cancer therapy. This review will also offer perspectives on future applications of siRNA therapeutics.
    06/2013; 2013:782041. DOI:10.1155/2013/782041
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