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Highly Efficient and Safe Delivery of VEGF siRNA by Bioreducible Fluorinated Peptide Dendrimers for Cancer Therapy

Cai, Xiaojun, Zhu, Haofang, Zhang, Yanmei, Gu, Zhongwei
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2017 v.9 no.11 pp. 9402-9415
RNA interference, biocompatibility, blood serum, cell proliferation, crosslinking, genetic disorders, growth retardation, neoplasms, small interfering RNA, therapeutics, vascular endothelial growth factors
RNA interference (RNAi) has a great promise in treating various acquired and hereditary diseases. However, it remains highly desirable to develop new delivery system to circumvent complex extra- and intracellular barriers for successful clinical translation. Here, we report on a versatile polymeric vector, bioreducible fluorinated peptide dendrimers (BFPD), for efficient and safe small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery. In virtue of skillfully integrating all of the unique advantages of reversible cross-linking, fluorination, and peptide dendrimers, this novel vector can surmount almost all extra- and intracellular barriers associated with local siRNA delivery through highly improved physiological stability and serum resistance, significantly increased intratumoral enrichment, cellular internalization, successful facilitation of endosomal escape, and cytosolic siRNA release. BFPD polyplexes, carrying small interfering vascular endothelial growth factor (siVEGF), demonstrated excellent VEGF silencing efficacy (∼65%) and a strong capability for inhibiting HeLa cell proliferation. More importantly, these polyplexes showed superior performance in long-term enrichment in the tumor sites and had a high level of tumor growth inhibition. Furthermore, these polyplexes not only exhibited excellent in vivo antitumor efficacy but also demonstrated superior biocompatibility, compared with LPF2000, both in vivo and in vitro. These findings indicate that BFPD is an efficient and safe siRNA delivery system and has remarkable potential for RNAi-based cancer treatment.