Bioconjugated gold nanoparticles enhance cellular uptake: a proof of concept study for siRNA delivery in prostate cancer cells

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Guo, Jianfeng
O'Driscoll, Caitríona M.
Holmes, Justin D.
Rahme, Kamil
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The chemistry of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) facilitates surface modifications and thus these bioengineered NPs have been investigated as a means of delivering a variety of therapeutic cargos to treat cancer. In this study we have developed AuNPs conjugated with targeting ligands to enhance cell-specific uptake in prostate cancer cells, with a purpose of providing efficient non-viral gene delivery systems in the treatment of prostate cancer. As a consequence, two novel AuNPs were synthesised namely AuNPs-PEG-Tf (negatively charged AuNPs with the transferrin targeting ligands) and AuNPs-PEI-FA (positively charged AuNPs with the folate-receptor targeting ligands). Both bioconjugated AuNPs demonstrated low cytotoxicity in prostate cancer cells. The attachment of the targeting ligand Tf to AuNPs successfully achieved receptor-mediated cellular uptake in PC-3 cells, a prostate cancer cell line highly expressing Tf receptors. The AuNPs-PEI-FA effectively complexed small interfering RNA (siRNA) through electrostatic interaction. At the cellular level the AuNPs-PEI-FA specifically delivered siRNA into LNCaP cells, a prostate cancer cell line overexpressing prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA, exhibits a hydrolase enzymic activity with a folate substrate). Following endolysosomal escape the AuNPs-PEI-FA.siRNA formulation produced enhanced endogenous gene silencing compared to the non-targeted formulation. Our results suggest both formulations have potential as non-viral gene delivery vectors in the treatment of prostate cancer.
Gold nanoparticles , Targeting ligands , Receptor-mediated internalisation , Non-viral siRNA delivery , Prostate cancer gene therapy
Guo, J., O’Driscoll, C. M., Holmes, J. D. and Rahme, K. (2016) 'Bioconjugated gold nanoparticles enhance cellular uptake: A proof of concept study for siRNA delivery in prostate cancer cells', International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 509(1), pp. 16-27. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2016.05.027
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