ACS nano

Molecular-Targeted Immunotherapeutic Strategy for Melanoma via Dual-Targeting Nanoparticles Delivering Small Interfering RNA to Tumor-Associated Macrophages.

PMID 28858473


Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are a promising therapeutic target for cancer immunotherapy. Targeted delivery of therapeutic drugs to the tumor-promoting M2-like TAMs is challenging. Here, we developed M2-like TAM dual-targeting nanoparticles (M2NPs), whose structure and function were controlled by α-peptide (a scavenger receptor B type 1 (SR-B1) targeting peptide) linked with M2pep (an M2 macrophage binding peptide). By loading anti-colony stimulating factor-1 receptor (anti-CSF-1R) small interfering RNA (siRNA) on the M2NPs, we developed a molecular-targeted immunotherapeutic approach to specifically block the survival signal of M2-like TAMs and deplete them from melanoma tumors. We confirmed the validity of SR-B1 for M2-like TAM targeting and demonstrated the synergistic effect of the two targeting units (α-peptide and M2pep) in the fusion peptide (α-M2pep). After being administered to tumor-bearing mice, M2NPs had higher affinity to M2-like TAMs than to tissue-resident macrophages in liver, spleen, and lung. Compared with control treatment groups, M2NP-based siRNA delivery resulted in a dramatic elimination of M2-like TAMs (52%), decreased tumor size (87%), and prolonged survival. Additionally, this molecular-targeted strategy inhibited immunosuppressive IL-10 and TGF-β production and increased immunostimulatory cytokines (IL-12 and IFN-γ) expression and CD8+ T cell infiltration (2.9-fold) in the tumor microenvironment. Moreover, the siRNA-carrying M2NPs down-regulated expression of the exhaustion markers (PD-1 and Tim-3) on the infiltrating CD8+ T cells and stimulated their IFN-γ secretion (6.2-fold), indicating the restoration of T cell immune function. Thus, the dual-targeting property of M2NPs combined with RNA interference provides a potential strategy of molecular-targeted cancer immunotherapy for clinical application.

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