bims-novged Biomed News
on Non-viral vectors for gene delivery
Issue of 2021‒07‒25
fourteen papers selected by
Benjamin Winkeljann
Ludwig-Maximilians University

  1. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2021 Jul 22.
      Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based gene therapy has been widely studied as a promising treatment for malignant triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), but efficient delivery of siRNA still remains a challenge. In this study, a smart manganese dioxide (MnO2)-based lanthanide nanoprobe therapeutic nanoplatform (ErNPs@MnO2-siS100A4-RGD) was developed for tumor imaging and precise stimuli-responsive S100A4 siRNA (siS100A4)-mediated gene therapy in synergism with chemodynamic therapy (CDT) of TNBC. ErNPs@MnO2-siS100A4-RGD has a tumor microenvironment-responsive capability attributed to the presence of MnO2, which can be degraded by glutathione (GSH) in the tumor region while releasing siRNA and generating Mn2+ to achieve precise gene therapy and a Fenton-like reaction-mediated CDT effect on TNBC. Subsequently, the lanthanide nanoprobes (ErNPs) are exposed to the second near-infrared region (NIR-II) fluorescence emission to realize the precise tumor location. Both the in vitro and in vivo results demonstrated that the smart nanoplatform possessed high siRNA delivery efficiency and GSH-responsive precise siRNA releasing ability, and compared with individual gene therapy, the GSH-depletion-enhanced CDT effect further reinforced TNBC inhibition, demonstrating excellent GSH-responsive-enhanced NIR-II precise tumor imaging therapy. These results indicate that the nanoplatform provides a crucial foundation for further research on theranostic systems of TNBC.
    Keywords:  chemodynamic therapy; precise tumor location; siRNA-based gene therapy; smart manganese dioxide-based lanthanide nanoprobe; triple-negative breast cancer
  2. Nano Lett. 2021 Jul 21.
      Lipid nanoparticle SNAs (LNP-SNAs) have been synthesized for the delivery of DNA and RNA to targets in the cytoplasm of cells. Both the composition of the LNP core and surface-presented DNA sequences contribute to LNP-SNA activity. G-rich sequences enhance the activity of LNP-SNAs compared to T-rich sequences. In the LNP core, increased cholesterol content leads to greater activity. Optimized LNP-SNA candidates reduce the siRNA concentration required to silence mRNA by 2 orders of magnitude compared to liposome-based SNAs. In addition, the LNP-SNA architectures alter biodistribution and efficacy profiles in mice. For example, mRNA within LNP-SNAs injected intravenously is primarily expressed in the spleen, while mRNA encapsulated by LNPs (no DNA on the surface) was expressed primarily in the liver with a relatively small amount in the spleen. These data show that the activity and biodistribution of LNP-SNA architectures are different from those of conventional liposomal SNAs and therefore potentially can be used to target tissues.
    Keywords:  RNA; Spherical nucleic acids; drug delivery; lipid nanoparticles
  3. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2021 Jul 19. pii: S0169-409X(21)00234-9. [Epub ahead of print] 113842
      Non-viral gene therapy for hereditary skin diseases is an attractive prospect. However, research efforts dedicated to this area are rare. Taking advantage of the branched structural possibilities of polymeric vectors, we have developed a gene delivery platform for the treatment of an incurable monogenic skin disease - recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) - based on highly branched poly(β-amino ester)s (HPAEs). The screening of HPAEs and optimization of therapeutic gene constructs, together with evaluation of the combined system for gene transfection, were comprehensively reviewed. The successful restoration of type VII collagen (C7) expression both in vitro and in vivo highlights HPAEs as a promising generation of polymeric vectors for RDEB gene therapy into the clinic. Considering that the treatment of patients with genetic cutaneous disorders, such as other subtypes of epidermolysis bullosa, pachyonychia congenita, ichthyosis and Netherton syndrome, remains challenging, the success of HPAEs in RDEB treatment indicates that the development of viable polymeric gene delivery vectors could potentially expedite the translation of gene therapy for these diseases from bench to bedside.
    Keywords:  Cutaneous gene delivery; Hereditary skin diseases; Highly branched poly(β-amino ester)s; Polymeric vectors; Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa
  4. J Inorg Biochem. 2021 Jul 09. pii: S0162-0134(21)00187-2. [Epub ahead of print]223 111540
      With the purpose of obtaining a new dendritic system against cancer, this paper is focused on the synthesis of spherical carbosilane metallodendrimers of different generations holding Ru(II) N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) on the periphery from the imidazolium precursors. Both imidazolium salt dendrimers and their metallodendrimers counterparts showed promising anticancer activity, similar to cisplatin, mainly at high generations. In addition, both families of second and third generations were able to form dendriplexes with anticancer small interfering RNA (siRNA), protecting the cargo against RNAse and being able to internalize it in HEPG2 (human liver cancer) tumour cells. The characterization and effectiveness of the dendriplexes were evaluated by various analytical techniques such as zeta potential, electrophoresis and circular dichroism, the stability of the system and the protective nature of the dendrimer estimated using RNAse and the internalization of dendriplexes by confocal microscopy. The major advantage observed with the ruthenium metallodendrimers with respect to the imidazolium salts precursors was in cellular uptake, where the internalization of Mcl-1-FITC siRNA (myeloid cell leukaemia-1 fluorescein labelled siRNA) proceeded more efficiently. Therefore, we propose here that both imidazolium and Ru metallodendrimers are interesting candidates in cancer due to their double action, as anticancer per se and as carrier for anticancer siRNA, providing in this way a combined action.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Carbosilane; Dendrimers; Imidazolium; Ruthenium; siRNA delivery
  5. Acta Biomater. 2021 Jul 18. pii: S1742-7061(21)00467-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Metastasis is one of the major causes of mortality in patients suffering from breast cancer. The signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is closely related to cancer metastasis. Herein, a multifunctional nanocomplex was developed to simultaneously deliver paclitaxel (PTX) and STAT3 siRNA (siSTAT3) to inhibit tumor growth and prevent metastasis of breast tumor cells. PTX was encapsulated into the synthesized polyethyleneimine-polylactic acid-lipoic acid (PPL) micelle through hydrophobic interaction, while siSTAT3 was condensed onto polyethyleneimine through electrostatic interaction. The surface charge of the drug-loaded nanocomplex (siSTAT3PPLPTX) was then converted to negative by coating with hyaluronic acid (HA). The multifunctional nanocomplex (HA/siSTAT3PPLPTX) effectively entered CD44-overexpressed 4T1 cells via an active targeting mechanism. HA shell was degraded by the concentrated hyaluronidase in the endo/lysosome and the rapid drug release was triggered by the redox micro-environment of cytoplasm. Moreover, HA/siSTAT3PPLPTX showed enhanced cytotoxicity against tumor cells due to a synergistic effect of PTX and siSTAT3. The effective inhibition of tumor metastasis was confirmed by in vitro cell migration and invasion in 4T1 cells. More importantly, a superior antitumor efficacy was observed in orthotopic 4T1 tumor-bearing mice, with no side effects in major organs, and the lung metastasis was strongly inhibited in the 4T1 metastasis model. In conclusion, the redox-responsive nanocomplex provides a versatile platform for efficient treatment of metastatic cancer through tumor-targeted chemo-gene combined therapy. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Metastasis is one of the major causes of mortality in patients suffering from breast cancer. The signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is closely related to cancer metastasis. In this study, a multifunctional nanocomplex co-loaded with paclitaxel (PTX) and STAT3 siRNA was constructed and characterized. The co-delivery system exhibited active tumor targeting, effective endo/lysosomal escape, and rapid intracellular drug release. Both in vitro and in vivo studies indicated that the nanocomplex could lead to superior tumor growth inhibition, as well as metastasis suppression by silencing expression of STAT3 and p-STAT3. This present study implies that the nanocomplex could be a potential platform for targeted treatment of metastatic cancer through chemo-gene combined therapy.
    Keywords:  Antimetastasis; Chemo-gene therapy; Co-delivery and co-rapid release; Combinative antitumor efficacy; Multifunctional nanocomplex
  6. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jul 20. pii: 7744. [Epub ahead of print]22(14):
      Nonviral vectors for gene therapy such as lipoplexes are characterized by low toxicity, high biocompatibility, and good transfection efficiency. Specifically, lipoplexes based on polymeric surfactants and phospholipids have great potential as gene carriers due to the increased ability to bind genetic material (multiplied positive electric charge) while lowering undesirable effects (the presence of lipids makes the system more like natural membranes). This study aimed to test the ability to bind and release genetic material by lipoplexes based on trimeric surfactants and lipid formulations of different compositions and to characterize formed complexes by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The cytotoxicity of studied lipoplexes was tested on HeLa cells by the MTT cell viability assay and the dye exclusion test (trypan blue). The presence of lipids in the system lowered the surfactant concentration required for complexation (higher efficiency) and reduced the cytotoxicity of lipoplexes. Surfactant/lipids/DNA complexes were more stable than surfactant/DNA complexes. Surfactant molecules induced the genetic material condensation, but the presence of lipids significantly intensified this process. Systems based on trimeric surfactants and lipid formulations, particularly TRI_N and TRI_IMI systems, could be used as delivery carrier, and have proven to be highly effective, nontoxic, and universal for DNA of various lengths.
    Keywords:  cytotoxicity; lipoplex; nucleic acids delivery; phospholipids; tricationic surfactants
  7. Polymers (Basel). 2021 Jul 06. pii: 2228. [Epub ahead of print]13(14):
      Several ternary composites that are based on branched polyethyleneimine (bPEI 25 kDa, polydispersity 2.5, 0.1 or 0.2 ng), citrate-coated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (citrate-NPs, 8-10 nm, 0.1, 1.0, or 2.5 µg), and reporter circular plasmid DNA pEGFP-C1 or pRL-CMV (pDNA 0.5 µg) were studied for optimization of the best composite for transfection into glioblastoma U87MG or U138MG cells. The efficiency in terms of citrate-NP and plasmid DNA gene delivery with the ternary composites could be altered by tuning the bPEI/citrate-NP ratios in the polymer composites, which were characterized by Prussian blue staining, in vitro magnetic resonance imaging as well as green fluorescence protein and luciferase expression. Among the composites prepared, 0.2 ng bPEI/0.5 μg pDNA/1.0 µg citrate-NP ternary composite possessed the best cellular uptake efficiency. Composite comprising 0.1 ng bPEI/0.5 μg pDNA/0.1 μg citrate-NP gave the optimal efficiency for the cellular uptake of the two plasmid DNAs to the nucleus. The best working bPEI concentration range should not exceed 0.2 ng/well to achieve a relatively low cytotoxicity.
    Keywords:  citrate; gene delivery; magnetic nanoparticle; nanostructure; polyethyleneimine
  8. Environ Res. 2021 Jul 14. pii: S0013-9351(21)00993-2. [Epub ahead of print] 111699
      Leptospirosis is a severe bacterial infectious disease caused by the organisms belonging to the genus of Leptospira. The chitosan/Bacopa saponin/tripolyphosphate (CS/BS/TPP) nanoparticles conjugated with recombinant DNA vaccines were designed against Leptospirosis. Chitosan, a polysaccharide is suitable for delivery of drug, and gene due to its bio-compatible and biodegradable properties. Bacopa saponins are used for the induction of the immune response against microbial infections. The recombinant DNA vaccine construct was composed of the leptospiral outer membrane LipL32 gene tagged with EGFP and hGMCSF adjuvant in the pVAX1 mammalian expression vector along with the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter. This recombinant DNA vaccine construct was termed as pVAX1-EGFP-LipL32 and pVAX1-EGFP-hGMCSF-LipL32, and these constructs were conjugated with CS/BS/TPP nanoparticles by using the ionic gelation technique. Thus, CS/BS/TPP conjugated nanoparticle DNA vaccine was confirmed by functionality (FT-IR), crystalline nature (XRD) and surface charge (Zeta potential). The 90% encapsulation efficiency was observed in the conjugated nanoparticle DNA vaccine. In contrast, cell viability analysis validated that the synthesized DNA conjugated CS/BS/TPP nanoparticles showed low cytotoxicity up to 10 mg/mL. The results showed here are the initial establishment of DNA vaccine conjugated nanoparticles, which can be used as a potential anti-leptospiral vaccine.
    Keywords:  Bacopa monnieri; Bacopa saponin; Chitosan; DNA vaccine; Leptospirosis; Polysaccharide
  9. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2021 Jul 23.
      Near-infrared (NIR)-light-triggered photothermal therapy (PTT) is usually associated with an undesirable heating damage to normal organs nearby due to its high temperature (>50 o C) for available tumor ablation. Achieving PTT strategies at a relatively low temperature therefore demonstrates tremendous value to clinic. Here, we construct a hypoxia-responsive gold nanorods (AuNRs)-based nanocomposite of CRISPR-Cas9 for mild-photothermal therapy via tumor-targeted gene editing. AuNRs are modified with azobenzene-4, 4'-dicarboxylic acid (p-AZO) to achieve on-demand release of CRISPR-Cas9 using hypoxia-responsive azo bonds. In the hypoxic tumor microenvironment, the azo groups of APACPs are selectively reduced by the overexpression of reductases, leading to the release of Cas9 and subsequent gene editing. Owing to the knockout of Hsp90α for reducing thermal-resistance of cancer cells, highly effective tumor ablation both in vitro and in vivo was achieved with APACPs under mild PTT. This strategy provides a promising method for gene editing targeting tumor microenvironments, and opens a possibility to improve the therapeutic effect and minimize the side effects.
    Keywords:  CRISPR/Cas9; Gene Editing; Hypoxia; Mild-Photothermal Therapy; Target Delivery
  10. Adv Mater. 2021 Jul 18. e2101707
      The transfer of foreign synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) into cells is essential for mRNA-based protein-replacement therapies. Prophylactic mRNA COVID-19 vaccines commonly utilize nanotechnology to deliver mRNA encoding SARS-CoV-2 vaccine antigens, thereby triggering the body's immune response and preventing infections. In this study, a new combinatorial library of symmetric lipid-like compounds is constructed, and among which a lead compound is selected to prepare lipid-like nanoassemblies (LLNs) for intracellular delivery of mRNA. After multiround optimization, the mRNA formulated into core-shell-structured LLNs exhibits more than three orders of magnitude higher resistance to serum than the unprotected mRNA, and leads to sustained and high-level protein expression in mammalian cells. A single intravenous injection of LLNs into mice achieves over 95% mRNA translation in the spleen, without causing significant hematological and histological changes. Delivery of in-vitro-transcribed mRNA that encodes high-affinity truncated ACE2 variants (tACE2v mRNA) through LLNs induces elevated expression and secretion of tACE2v decoys, which is able to effectively block the binding of the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 to the human ACE2 receptor. The robust neutralization activity in vitro suggests that intracellular delivery of mRNA encoding ACE2 receptor mimics via LLNs may represent a potential intervention strategy for COVID-19.
    Keywords:  SARS-CoV-2; lipid-like nanoassemblies; messenger RNA; spleen-targeted delivery systems; truncated ACE2 decoys
  11. Biomaterials. 2021 Jul 15. pii: S0142-9612(21)00384-7. [Epub ahead of print]276 121028
      microRNA-mediated direct cardiac reprogramming, directly converts fibroblasts into induced cardiomyocyte-like cells (iCMs), which holds great promise in cardiac regeneration therapy. However, effective approaches to deliver therapeutic microRNA into cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) to induce in vivo cardiac reprogramming remain to be explored. Herein, a non-viral biomimetic system to directly reprogram CFs for cardiac regeneration after myocardial injury was developed by coating FH peptide-modified neutrophil-mimicking membranes on mesoporous silicon nanoparticles (MSNs) loaded with microRNA1, 133, 208, and 499 (miR Combo). Through utilizing the natural inflammation-homing ability of neutrophil membrane protein and FH peptide's high affinity to tenascin-C (TN-C) produced by CFs, this nanoparticle could realize sequential targeting to CFs in the injured heart and precise intracellular delivery of miRCombo, which induced reprogramming resident CFs into iCMs. In a mouse model of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury, intravenous injection of the nanoparticles successfully delivered miRCombo into fibroblasts and led to efficient reprogramming, resulting in improved cardiac function and attenuated fibrosis. This delivery system is minimally invasive and bio-safe, providing a proof-of-concept for biomimetic and sequential targeting nanomedicine delivery system for microRNA-mediated reprogramming therapy in multiple diseases.
    Keywords:  Biomimetic nanoparticles; Cardiac regeneration; Direct reprogramming; Fibroblasts; Sequential targeting
  12. Bioconjug Chem. 2021 Jul 19.
      Safe and efficient delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 systems is still a challenge. Here we report the development of fluorescent nitrogen- and zinc-doped carbon dots (N-Zn-doped CDs) using one-step microwave-aided pyrolysis based on citric acid, branched PEI25k, and different zinc salts. These versatile nanovectors with a quantum yield of around 60% could not only transfect large CRISPR plasmids (∼9 kb) with higher efficiency (80%) compared to PEI25k and lipofectamine 2000 (Lipo 2K), but they also delivered mRNA into HEK 293T cells with the efficiency 20 times greater than and equal to that of PEI25k and Lipo 2K, respectively. Unlike PEI25k, N-Zn-doped CDs exhibited good transfection efficiency even at low plasmid doses and in the presence of 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Moreover, these nanovectors demonstrated excellent efficiency in GFP gene disruption by transferring plasmid encoding Cas9 and sgRNA targeting GFP as well as Cas9/sgRNA ribonucleoproteins into HEK 293T-GFP cells. Hence, N-Zn-doped CDs with remarkable photoluminescence properties and high transfection efficiency in the delivery of both CRISPR complexes and mRNA provide a promising platform for developing safe, efficient, and traceable delivery systems for biological research.
  13. Drug Deliv. 2021 Dec;28(1): 1548-1561
      PURPOSE: Tumor RNA vaccines can activate dendritic cells to generate systemic anti-tumor immune response. However, due to easily degraded of RNA, direct RNA vaccine is less effective. In this study, we optimized the method for preparing PEGylated liposom-polycationic DNA complex (LPD) nanoliposomes, increased encapsulate amount of total RNA derived from CT-26 colorectal cancer cells. Tumor RNA LPD nanoliposomes vaccines improved anti-tumor immune response ability of tumor RNA and can effectively promote anti-tumor therapeutic effect of oxaliplatin.METHODS: Total tumor-derived RNA was extracted from colorectal cancer cells (CT-26 cells), and loaded to our optimized the LPD complex, resulting in the LPD nanoliposomes. We evaluated the characteristics (size, zeta potential, and stability), cytotoxicity, transfection ability, and tumor-growth inhibitory efficacy of LPD nanoliposomes.
    RESULTS: The improved LPD nanoliposomes exhibited a spherical shape, RNA loading efficiency of 9.07%, the average size of 120.37 ± 2.949 nm and zeta potential was 3.34 ± 0.056 mV. Also, the improved LPD nanoliposomes showed high stability at 4 °C, with a low toxicity and high cell transfection efficacy toward CT-26 colorectal cancer cells. Notably, the improved LPD nanoliposomes showed tumor growth inhibition by activating anti-tumor immune response in CT-26 colorectal cancer bearing mice, with mini side effects toward the normal organs of mice. Furthermore, the effect of the improved LPD nanoliposomes in combination with oxaliplatin can be better than that of oxaliplatin alone.
    CONCLUSION: The improved LPD nanoliposomes may serve as an effective vaccine to induce antitumor immunity, presenting a new treatment option for colorectal cancer.
    Keywords:  Colorectal cancer; LPD; RNA vaccine; chemotherapy; nanoliposome; vaccine
  14. Clin Transl Oncol. 2021 Jul 21.
      PURPOSE: Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is one of the most aggressive cancers in the world. Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD-1) is one of major enzymes in the de novo synthesis of fatty acids and is related to cancer aggressiveness and poor patient prognosis. The study aimed to construct exosomes loaded SCD-1 interference, investigate its effects and mechanisms on the cell proliferation and apoptosis of ATC cells.METHODS: The expressions of SCD-1 in normal thyroid cell line and ATC cell lines were determined by qRT-PCR and western blotting, respectively. Exosomes were prepared and purification then loaded with SCD-1 siRNA by electroporation and observed by transmission electron microscopy. Higher SCD-1 mRNA and protein levels were found in ATC cell lines compared than normal thyroid cell line (P < 0.05), and both Hth-7 and FRO cells could uptake PKH67-labeled exosomes. The effects of exosomes loaded SCD-1 siRNA on ATC cells were measured by CCK8 assay and apoptosis detection kit.
    RESULTS: When compared with control group, the cell viability significantly decreased in both two ATC cell lines taken up exosomes loaded SCD-1 siRNA (P < 0.001), and apoptotic and necrotic cells obviously increased (P < 0.05). In order to explore the mechanism of exosomes loaded SCD-1 on ATC, the ROS level was detected by fluorescence reagent. It was found that exosomes loaded SCD-1 siRNA significantly increased intracellular ROS level of ATC cells (P < 0.05).
    CONCLUSIONS: Exosomes loaded SCD-1 siRNA inhibited ATC cellular proliferation and promoted cellular apoptosis, and the mechanisms involved maybe the regulation of fatty acids metabolism and ROS level. Our study provides a promising therapeutic strategy for ATC.
    Keywords:  Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC); Exosome; Reactive-oxygen species (ROS); Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD-1)