Dual MMP7-proximity-activated and folate receptor-targeted nanoparticles for siRNA delivery.

Li H, Miteva M, Kirkbride KC, Cheng MJ, Nelson CE, Simpson EM, Gupta MK, Duvall CL, Giorgio TD
Biomacromolecules. 2015 16 (1): 192-201

PMID: 25414930 · PMCID: PMC4294138 · DOI:10.1021/bm501394m

A dual-targeted siRNA nanocarrier has been synthesized and validated that is selectively activated in environments where there is colocalization of two breast cancer hallmarks, elevated matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity and folate receptor overexpression. This siRNA nanocarrier is self-assembled from two polymers containing the same pH-responsive, endosomolytic core-forming block but varying hydrophilic, corona-forming blocks. The corona block of one polymer consists of a 2 kDa PEG attached to a terminal folic acid (FA); the second polymer contains a larger (Y-shaped, 20 kDa) PEG attached to the core block by a proximity-activated targeting (PAT), MMP7-cleavable peptide. In mixed micelle smart polymer nanoparticles (SPNs) formed from the FA- and PAT-based polymers, the proteolytically removable PEG on the PAT polymers shields nonspecific SPN interactions with cells or proteins. When the PAT element is cleaved within an MMP-rich environment, the PEG shielding is removed, exposing the underlying FA and making it accessible for folate receptor-mediated SPN uptake. Characterization of mixed micelles prepared from these two polymers revealed that uptake and siRNA knockdown bioactivity of a 50% FA/50% PAT formulation was dependent on both proteolytic activation and FA receptor engagement. MMP activation and delivery of this formulation to breast cancer cells expressing the FA receptor achieved greater than 50% protein-level knockdown of a model gene with undetectable cytotoxicity. This modular nanoparticle design represents a new paradigm in cell-selective siRNA delivery and allows for stoichiometric tuning of dual-targeting components to achieve superior targeting specificity.

MeSH Terms (8)

Drug Delivery Systems Folate Receptors, GPI-Anchored Gene Transfer Techniques Humans Matrix Metalloproteinase 7 MCF-7 Cells Nanoparticles RNA, Small Interfering

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