Gene therapy

Phospholipid-modified PEI-based nanocarriers for in vivo siRNA therapeutics against multidrug-resistant tumors.

PMID 25354685


Multidrug resistance (MDR) mediated by P-glycoprotein overexpression in solid tumors is a major factor in the failure of many forms of chemotherapy. Here we evaluated phospholipid-modified, low-molecular-weight polyethylenimine (DOPE-PEI) nanocarriers for intravenous delivery of anti-P-pg siRNA to tumors with the final goal of modulating MDR in breast cancer. First, we studied the biodistribution of DOPE-PEI nanocarriers and the effect of PEG coating in a subcutaneous breast tumor model. Four hours postinjection, PEGylated carriers showed an 8% injected dose (ID) accumulation in solid tumor via the enhanced permeability and retention effect and 22% ID in serum due to a prolonged, PEG-mediated circulation. Second, we established the therapeutic efficacy and safety of DOPE-PEI/siRNA-mediated P-gp downregulation in combination with doxorubicin (Dox) chemotherapy in MCF-7/MDR xenografts. Weekly injection of siRNA nanopreparations and Dox for up to 5 weeks sensitized the tumors to otherwise non-effective doses of Dox and decreased the tumor volume by threefold vs controls. This therapeutic improvement in response to Dox was attributed to the significant, sequence-specific P-gp downregulation in excised tumors mediated by the DOPE-PEI formulations.