bims-novged Biomed News
on Non-viral vectors for gene delivery
Issue of 2023‒12‒10
nine papers selected by
the Merkel lab, Ludwig-Maximilians University

  1. Biol Pharm Bull. 2023 ;46(12): 1648-1660
      This review paper summarizes progress that has been made in the new field of "Controlled Intracellular Trafficking." This involves the development of new systems for delivering plasmid DNA (pDNA), small interfering RNA (siRNA), mRNA, proteins, their escape from endosomes, the mechanism for how they enter the nucleus, how they enter mithochondria and how materials subsequently function within a cell. In addition, strategies for delivering these materials to a selective tissue after intravenous administration was also intensively investigated not only to the liver but also to tumors, lungs, adipose tissue and the spleen. In 2020, a new mRNA vaccine was developed against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), where ionizable cationic lipids were used as a delivery system. Our strategy to identify an efficient ionizable cationic lipids (iCL) based on a lipid library as well as their applications concerning the delivery of siRNA/mRNA/pDNA is also described.
    Keywords:  drug delivery system; gene delivery; liposome; nanomedicine; pharmacokinetics
  2. J Gene Med. 2023 Dec 03. e3642
      Gene therapies have the potential to target and effectively treat a variety of diseases including cancer as well as genetic, neurological, and autoimmune disorders. Although we have made significant advances in identifying non-viral strategies to deliver genetic cargo, certain limitations remain. In general, gene delivery is challenging for several reasons including the instabilities of nucleic acids to enzymatic and chemical degradation and the presence of restrictive biological barriers such as cell, endosomal and nuclear membranes. The emergence of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) helped overcome many of these challenges. Despite its success, further optimization is required for LNPs to yield efficient gene delivery to extrahepatic tissues, as LNPs favor accumulation in the liver after systemic administration. In this mini-review, we provide an overview of current preclinical approaches in that LNP surface modification was leveraged for cell and tissue targeting by conjugating aptamers, antibodies, and peptides among others. In addition to their cell uptake and efficiency-enhancing effects, we outline the (dis-)advantages of the different targeting moieties and commonly used conjugation strategies.
    Keywords:  conjugation; gene therapy; lipid nanoparticles; selective targeting; surface engineering
  3. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Dec 12. 120(50): e2310491120
      Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are advanced core-shell particles for messenger RNA (mRNA) based therapies that are made of polyethylene glycol (PEG) lipid, distearoylphosphatidylcholine (DSPC), cationic ionizable lipid (CIL), cholesterol (chol), and mRNA. Yet the mechanism of pH-dependent response that is believed to cause endosomal release of LNPs is not well understood. Here, we show that eGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) protein expression in the mouse liver mediated by the ionizable lipids DLin-MC3-DMA (MC3), DLin-KC2-DMA (KC2), and DLinDMA (DD) ranks MC3 ≥ KC2 > DD despite similar delivery of mRNA per cell in all cell fractions isolated. We hypothesize that the three CIL-LNPs react differently to pH changes and hence study the structure of CIL/chol bulk phases in water. Using synchrotron X-ray scattering a sequence of ordered CIL/chol mesophases with lowering pH values are observed. These phases show isotropic inverse micellar, cubic Fd3m inverse micellar, inverse hexagonal [Formula: see text] and bicontinuous cubic Pn3m symmetry. If polyadenylic acid, as mRNA surrogate, is added to CIL/chol, excess lipid coexists with a condensed nucleic acid lipid [Formula: see text] phase. The next-neighbor distance in the excess phase shows a discontinuity at the Fd3m inverse micellar to inverse hexagonal [Formula: see text] transition occurring at pH 6 with distinctly larger spacing and hydration for DD vs. MC3 and KC2. In mRNA LNPs, DD showed larger internal spacing, as well as retarded onset and reduced level of DD-LNP-mediated eGFP expression in vitro compared to MC3 and KC2. Our data suggest that the pH-driven Fd3m-[Formula: see text] transition in bulk phases is a hallmark of CIL-specific differences in mRNA LNP efficacy.
    Keywords:  SAXS; ionizable lipid; lipid nanoparticles; lyotropic mesophases; mRNA delivery
  4. Langmuir. 2023 Dec 05.
      Lipids, and cationic lipids in particular are of interest as delivery vectors for hydrophobic drugs such as the cancer therapeutic paclitaxel, and the structures of lipid assemblies affect their efficacy. We investigated the effect of incorporating the multivalent cationic lipid MVL5 (+5e) and poly(ethylene glycol)-lipids (PEG-lipids), alone and in combination, on the structure of fluid-phase lipid assemblies of the charge-neutral lipid 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-phosphocholine (DOPC). This allowed us to elucidate lipid-assembly structure correlations in sonicated formulations with high charge density, which are not accessible with univalent lipids such as the well-studied DOTAP (+1e). Cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) allowed us to determine the structure of the lipid assemblies, revealing diverse combinations of vesicles and disc-shaped, worm-like, and spherical micelles. Remarkably, MVL5 forms an essentially pure phase of disc micelles at 50 mol % MVL5. At a higher (75 mol %) content of MVL5, short- and intermediate-length worm-like micellar rods were observed, and in ternary mixtures with PEG-lipid, longer and highly flexible worm-like micelles formed. Independent of their length, the worm-like micelles coexisted with spherical micelles. In stark contrast, DOTAP forms mixtures of vesicles, disc micelles, and spherical micelles at all studied compositions, even when combined with PEG-lipids. The observed similarities and differences in the effects of charge (multivalent versus univalent) and high curvature (multivalent charge versus PEG-lipid) on the assembly structure provide insights into parameters that control the size of fluid lipid nanodiscs, relevant for future applications.
  5. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2023 Dec 06. e2305769
      The application of lipid-based nanoparticles for COVID-19 vaccines and transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis treatment have highlighted their potential for translation to cancer therapy. However, their use in delivering drugs to solid tumors is limited by ineffective targeting, heterogeneous organ distribution, systemic inflammatory responses, and insufficient drug accumulation at the tumor. Instead, the use of lipid-based nanoparticles to remotely activate immune system responses is an emerging effective strategy. Despite this approach showing potential for treating hematological cancers, its application to treat solid tumors is hampered by the selection of eligible targets, tumor heterogeneity, and ineffective penetration of activated T cells within the tumor. Notwithstanding, the use of lipid-based nanoparticles for immunotherapy is projected to revolutionize cancer therapy, with the ultimate goal of rendering cancer a chronic disease. However, the translational success is likely to depend on the use of predictive tumor models in preclinical studies, simulating the complexity of the tumor microenvironment (e.g., the fibrotic extracellular matrix that impairs therapeutic outcomes) and stimulating tumor progression. This review compiles recent advances in the field of antitumor lipid-based nanoparticles and highlights emerging therapeutic approaches (e.g., mechanotherapy) to modulate tumor stiffness and improve T cell infiltration, and the use of organoids to better guide therapeutic outcomes.
    Keywords:  ECM; immunotherapy; lipid-based nanoparticles; mechanotherapy; tumor
  6. Heliyon. 2023 Nov;9(11): e22080
      Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for 80%-85% of total cases and leading to millions of deaths worldwide. Drug resistance is the primary cause of treatment failure in NSCLC, which urges scientists to develop advanced approaches for NSCLC treatment. Among novel approaches, the miRNA-based method has emerged as a potential approach as it allows researchers to modulate target gene expression. Subsequently, cell behaviors are altered, which leads to the death and the depletion of cancer cells. It has been reported that miRNAs possess the capacity to regulate multiple genes that are involved in various signaling pathways, including the phosphoinositide 3-kinase, receptor tyrosine kinase/rat sarcoma virus/mitogen-activated protein kinase, wingless/integrated, retinoblastoma, p53, transforming growth factor β, and nuclear factor-kappa B pathways. Dysregulation of these signaling pathways in NSCLC results in abnormal cell proliferation, tissue invasion, and drug resistance while inhibiting apoptosis. Thus, understanding the roles of miRNAs in regulating these signaling pathways may enable the development of novel NSCLC treatment therapies. However, a comprehensive review of potential miRNAs in NSCLC treatment has been lacking. Therefore, this review aims to fill the gap by summarizing the up-to-date information on miRNAs regarding their targets, impact on cancer-associated pathways, and prospective outcomes in treating NSCLC. We also discuss current technologies for delivering miRNAs to the target cells, including virus-based, non-viral, and emerging extracellular vesicle-based delivery systems. This knowledge will support future studies to develop an innovative miRNA-based therapy and select a suitable carrier to treat NSCLC effectively.
    Keywords:  Non-small cell lung cancer; miRNA delivery systems; miRNA-based therapy; miRNAs
  7. J Control Release. 2023 Dec 03. pii: S0168-3659(23)00786-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Recent advances in adoptive T-cell therapy have delivered impressive therapeutic outcomes by instigating enduring anti-tumor responses. Nonetheless, achieving specific T-cell activation remains a challenge due to several factors. Some cancer cells evade T-cell recognition due to the scarcity of tumor-specific T cells and deficiencies in antigen processing or major histocompatibility complex (MHC) presentation. Notably underestimated is the impact of waning T-cell receptor (TCR) expression and the constrained formation of immune synapses (IS) between dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells, impairing T-cell activation. Addressing these complexities, we introduce a pioneering approach featuring the deployment of a gel implant. This implant establishes an on-site antigen reservoir, efficiently targets DCs in lymph nodes, and facilitates calcium ion (Ca2+) delivery. Engineered with controlled swelling, poroelasticity, and resilience, the gel is suitable for surgical implantation. Its ample encapsulation capacity accommodates both photosensitizers and nanoparticles. Upon in situ photothermal irradiation, the gel generates tumor-specific antigens. Furthermore, cationic albumin nanoparticles (cNPs) co-loaded with monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) and ionomycin are released, guiding antigens to tumor-draining lymph nodes for DCs maturation. This meticulous process fosters the formation of IS thereby amplifying antigen-specific T-cell activation.
    Keywords:  Ca(2+) delivery; Gel implant; Lymph node targeting; Specific T-cell activation; Tumor-specific antigen pool
  8. Acta Pharm Sin B. 2023 Dec;13(12): 5048-5059
      T cell infiltration and proliferation in tumor tissues are the main factors that significantly affect the therapeutic outcomes of cancer immunotherapy. Emerging evidence has shown that interferon-gamma (IFNγ) could enhance CXCL9 secretion from macrophages to recruit T cells, but Siglec15 expressed on TAMs can attenuate T cell proliferation. Therefore, targeted regulation of macrophage function could be a promising strategy to enhance cancer immunotherapy via concurrently promoting the infiltration and proliferation of T cells in tumor tissues. We herein developed reduction-responsive nanoparticles (NPs) made with poly (disulfide amide) (PDSA) and lipid-poly (ethylene glycol) (lipid-PEG) for systemic delivery of Siglec15 siRNA (siSiglec15) and IFNγ for enhanced cancer immunotherapy. After intravenous administration, these cargo-loaded could highly accumulate in the tumor tissues and be efficiently internalized by tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). With the highly concentrated glutathione (GSH) in the cytoplasm to destroy the nanostructure, the loaded IFNγ and siSiglec15 could be rapidly released, which could respectively repolarize macrophage phenotype to enhance CXCL9 secretion for T cell infiltration and silence Siglec15 expression to promote T cell proliferation, leading to significant inhibition of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) growth when combining with the immune checkpoint inhibitor. The strategy developed herein could be used as an effective tool to enhance cancer immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  Cancer immunotherapy; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Macrophage repolarization; Nanoparticles; Siglec15; T cell infiltration; T cell proliferation; Tumor-associated macrophages
  9. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2023 Dec 12. pii: S0735-1097(23)07828-2. [Epub ahead of print]82(24): 2262-2264
    Keywords:  PCSK9; inclisiran; prevention; siRNA