International journal of pharmaceutics

Anginex lipoplexes for delivery of anti-angiogenic siRNA.

PMID 24950365


Angiogenesis is one of the hallmarks of cancer which renders it an attractive target for therapy of malignancies. Tumor growth suppression can be achieved by inhibiting angiogenesis since it would deprive tumor cells of oxygen and vital nutrients. Activation of endothelial cells of tumor vasculature is the first step in angiogenesis which is mediated by various factors. One of the major triggers in this process is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) which binds to VEGF receptors on endothelial cells of tumor vessels. This induces a series of signaling cascades leading to activation of cellular processes involved in angiogenesis, and therefore down-regulation of VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) expression seems a viable option to inhibit angiogenesis. In our investigations, this aim has been pursued by using siRNA interfering with the expression of VEGFR-2. Since the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) as a gene regulation process, successful delivery of small non-coding RNA has presented itself as a major challenge. In the current study, we have characterized a galectin-1 targeted anginex-coupled lipoplex (Angiplex) containing siRNA against the gene of VEGFR-2 as an angiostatic therapeutic. Angiplex particles had a size of approximately 120 nm with a net negative charge and were stable in vitro. These particles were internalized in a specific manner by HUVECs compared to a non-targeted lipoplex system, and their uptake was higher than Lipofectamine 2000. Gene silencing efficiency of Angiplex was shown to be 61%.