bims-novged Biomed News
on Non-viral vectors for gene delivery
Issue of 2023‒11‒05
eight papers selected by
the Merkel lab, Ludwig-Maximilians University

  1. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2023 Dec 12. 34 102043
      Development of factor VIII (FVIII) inhibitors is a serious complication in the treatment of hemophilia A (HemA) patients. In clinical trials, anti-CD3 antibody therapy effectively modulates the immune response of allograft rejection or autoimmune diseases without eliciting major adverse effects. In this study, we delivered mRNA-encapsulated lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) encoding therapeutic anti-CD3 antibody (αCD3 LNPs) to overcome the anti-FVIII immune responses in HemA mice. It was found that αCD3 LNPs encoding the single-chain antibodies (Fc-scFv) can efficiently deplete CD3+ and CD4+ effector T cells, whereas αCD3 LNPs encoding double-chain antibodies cannot. Concomitantly, mice treated with αCD3 (Fc-scFv) LNPs showed an increase in the CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cell percentages, which modulated the anti-FVIII immune responses. All T cells returned to normal levels within 2 months. HemA mice treated with αCD3 LNPs prior to hydrodynamic injection of liver-specific FVIII plasmids achieved persistent FVIII gene expression without formation of FVIII inhibitors. Furthermore, transgene expression was increased and persistent following secondary plasmid challenge, indicating induction of long-term tolerance to FVIII. Moreover, the treated mice maintained their immune competence against other antigens. In conclusion, our study established a potential new strategy to induce long-term antigen-specific tolerance using an αCD3 LNP formulation.
    Keywords:  MT: Delivery Strategies; anti-CD3 antibody; factor VIII; gene transfer; hemophilia A; immune modulation; inhibitory antibody; lipid nanoparticle; mRNA delivery; nonviral
  2. ACS Nano. 2023 Nov 02.
      Despite exciting advances in gene editing, the efficient delivery of genetic tools to extrahepatic tissues remains challenging. This holds particularly true for the skin, which poses a highly restrictive delivery barrier. In this study, we ran a head-to-head comparison between Cas9 mRNA or ribonucleoprotein (RNP)-loaded lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) to deliver gene editing tools into epidermal layers of human skin, aiming for in situ gene editing. We observed distinct LNP composition and cell-specific effects such as an extended presence of RNP in slow-cycling epithelial cells for up to 72 h. While obtaining similar gene editing rates using Cas9 RNP and mRNA with MC3-based LNPs (10-16%), mRNA-loaded LNPs proved to be more cytotoxic. Interestingly, ionizable lipids with a pKa ∼ 7.1 yielded superior gene editing rates (55%-72%) in two-dimensional (2D) epithelial cells while no single guide RNA-dependent off-target effects were detectable. Unexpectedly, these high 2D editing efficacies did not translate to actual skin tissue where overall gene editing rates between 5%-12% were achieved after a single application and irrespective of the LNP composition. Finally, we successfully base-corrected a disease-causing mutation with an efficacy of ∼5% in autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis patient cells, showcasing the potential of this strategy for the treatment of monogenic skin diseases. Taken together, this study demonstrates the feasibility of an in situ correction of disease-causing mutations in the skin that could provide effective treatment and potentially even a cure for rare, monogenic, and common skin diseases.
    Keywords:  ARCI; base editing; gene delivery; gene editing; genodermatoses; lipid nanoparticles; skin
  3. J Nanobiotechnology. 2023 Oct 28. 21(1): 394
      Extensive efforts have been dedicated to enhancing the expression of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) in cancer cells for the development of effective cancer treatments. However, highly safe and efficient delivery of TRAIL gene remains a significant challenge, especially using cationic polymers. Here, a series of highly branched-linear poly(β-amino ester)s (H-LPAEs) are developed through a unique oligomer branching strategy. H-LPAEs exhibit a more uniform distribution of linear segments and branching units, leading to excellent DNA condensation and favorable physicochemical properties of H-LPAE/DNA polyplexes. In SW1353 and BMSC cells, the optimized H-LPAEs, H-LPAEB4-S5-TMPTA, achieves superior gene transfection efficiency of 58.0% and 33.4%, which were 2.5-fold and 2.0-fold higher than that of the leading commercial gene transfection reagent, Lipofectamine 3000. Excitingly, H-LPAEB4-S5-TMPTA mediated 56.7% and 28.1% cell apoptosis in HepG2 cells and HeLa cells highlighting its potential application in cancer gene therapy. In addition, locally administered H-LPAEB4-S5-TMPTA delivered TRAIL DNA to HepG2 xenograft tumors and inhibited tumor growth in vivo. This study not only proposes a novel strategy for synthesizing poly(β-amino ester)s with a unique branched-linear topology but also identifies a promising candidate for highly efficient TRAIL gene transfection.
    Keywords:  Branched-linear poly(β-amino ester)s; Cancer therapy; Cell apoptosis; TRAIL gene
  4. Int J Nanomedicine. 2023 ;18 5961-5982
      Introduction: Cell-membrane nanocarriers are usually constructed by modifying the nanoparticle surface with cell membrane extracts, which has a direct benefit in endowing targeting capacity to nanocarriers based on their original cell types. However, delivering nucleic acid cargos by cell membrane-based nanoparticles is difficult owing to the strong negative charge of the cell membrane fraction. In this study, we developed a cancer cell membrane-based drug delivery system, the cMDS, for efficient siRNA delivery. Meanwhile, the cancer-specific immune response stimulated by the gene vector itself could offer synergistic anti-cancer ability.Methods: The cMDS was prepared by ultrasound, and its transfection efficiency and anti-cancer ability were examined using cultures of CT26 cells. MTT and red blood cell hemolysis tests were performed to assess the safety of cMDS, while its targeted gene delivery and strong immune stimulation were investigated in a subcutaneous tumor model. Moreover, the detailed anti-cancer immune stimulation mechanisms of cMDS are uncovered by protein chip analysis.
    Results: The cMDS was spherical core-shell structure. It showed high transfection efficiency and anti-cancer ability in vitro. In animal experiments, intravenously administered cMDS/siStat3 complex efficiently suppress the growth of colon cancer. Moreover, the result of protein chip analysis suggested that cMDS affect the migration and chemotaxis of immune cells.
    Conclusion: The cMDS shows obvious tumor tissue-specific accumulation properties and strong immune stimulation ability. It is an advanced targeted gene delivery system with potent immunotherapeutic properties.
    Keywords:  bioinspired material; cancer cell membrane; colon cancer; immunotherapeutic; targeted siRNA delivery
  5. Nat Commun. 2023 Nov 01. 14(1): 6983
      The introduction of more effective and selective mRNA delivery systems is required for the advancement of many emerging biomedical technologies including the development of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines, immunotherapies for cancer and strategies for genome editing. While polymers and oligomers have served as promising mRNA delivery systems, their efficacy in hard-to-transfect cells such as primary T lymphocytes is often limited as is their cell and organ tropism. To address these problems, considerable attention has been placed on structural screening of various lipid and cation components of mRNA delivery systems. Here, we disclose a class of charge-altering releasable transporters (CARTs) that differ from previous CARTs based on their beta-amido carbonate backbone (bAC) and side chain spacing. These bAC-CARTs exhibit enhanced mRNA transfection in primary T lymphocytes in vitro and enhanced protein expression in vivo with highly selective spleen tropism, supporting their broader therapeutic use as effective polyanionic delivery systems.
  6. Cell Rep Med. 2023 Oct 27. pii: S2666-3791(23)00430-5. [Epub ahead of print] 101253
      Colonization of the gut and airways by pathogenic bacteria can lead to local tissue destruction and life-threatening systemic infections, especially in immunologically compromised individuals. Here, we describe an mRNA-based platform enabling delivery of pathogen-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) monoclonal antibodies into mucosal secretions. The platform consists of synthetic mRNA encoding IgA heavy, light, and joining (J) chains, packaged in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) that express glycosylated, dimeric IgA with functional activity in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, mRNA-derived IgA had a significantly greater serum half-life and a more native glycosylation profile in mice than did a recombinantly produced IgA. Expression of an mRNA encoded Salmonella-specific IgA in mice resulted in intestinal localization and limited Peyer's patch invasion. The same mRNA-LNP technology was used to express a Pseudomonas-specific IgA that protected from a lung challenge. Leveraging the mRNA antibody technology as a means to intercept bacterial pathogens at mucosal surfaces opens up avenues for prophylactic and therapeutic interventions.
    Keywords:  IgA; Pseudomonas; Salmonella; antibody; dimeric; infection; mRNA; mucosal; therapy
  7. Biomaterials. 2023 Oct 16. pii: S0142-9612(23)00353-8. [Epub ahead of print]303 122345
      Vaccines provide substantial safety against infectious diseases, saving millions of lives each year. The recent COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of vaccination in providing mass-scale immunization against outbreaks. However, the delivery of vaccines imposes a unique set of challenges due to their large molecular size and low room temperature stability. Advanced biomaterials and delivery systems such as nano- and mciro-scale carriers are becoming critical components for successful vaccine development. In this review, we provide an updated overview of recent advances in the development of nano- and micro-scale carriers for controlled delivery of vaccines, focusing on carriers compatible with nucleic acid-based vaccines and therapeutics that emerged amid the recent pandemic. We start by detailing nano-scale delivery systems, focusing on nanoparticles, then move on to microscale systems including hydrogels, microparticles, and 3D printed microneedle patches. Additionally, we delve into emerging methods that move beyond traditional needle-based applications utilizing innovative delivery systems. Future challenges for clinical translation and manufacturing in this rapidly advancing field are also discussed.
  8. NPJ Vaccines. 2023 Nov 02. 8(1): 169
      With the large-scale vaccination of lipid nanoparticles (LNP)-based COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, elucidating the potential polyethylene glycol (PEG)-associated immune responses triggered by clinically relevant LNP has become imminent. However, inconsistent findings were observed across very limited population-based studies. Herein we initiated a study using LNP carrier of Comirnaty® as a representative, and simulated real-world clinical practice covering a series of time points and various doses correlated with approved LNP-delivered drugs in a rat model. We demonstrated the time- and dose-dependency of LNP-induced anti-PEG antibodies in rats. As a thymus-independent antigen, LNP unexpectedly induced isotype switch and immune memory, leading to rapid enhancement and longer lasting time of anti-PEG IgM and IgG upon re-injection in rats. Importantly, initial LNP injection accelerated the blood clearance of subsequent dosing in rats. These findings refine our understandings on LNP and possibly other PEG derivatives, and may promote optimization of related premarket guidelines and clinical protocols.