Enhancing anti-tumor efficiency in hepatocellular carcinoma through the autophagy inhibition by miR-375/sorafenib in lipid-coated calcium carbonate nanoparticles.

Zhao P, Li M, Wang Y, Chen Y, He C, Zhang X, Yang T, Lu Y, You J, Lee RJ, Xiang G
Acta Biomater 72 248-255 01/01/2018

Abstract

Sorafenib is a first-line drug for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Autophagy has been shown to facilitate sorafenib resistance. miR-375 has been shown to be an inhibitor of autophagy. In this study, miR-375 and sorafenib were co-loaded into calcium carbonate nanoparticles with lipid coating (miR-375/Sf-LCC NPs). The nanoparticles had high loading efficiency and were ∼50 nm in diameter. Besides, the NPs could increase the stability and residence time of both drugs. Moreover, we demonstrated that autophagy was activated in HCC cells by sorafenib but not by miR-375/Sf-LCC NPs. In vitro, miR-375/Sf-LCC NPs exhibited pH-dependent drug release and potent cytotoxicity. In vivo, miR-375/Sf-LCC NPs increased miR-375 and sorafenib uptake in tumor (2 folds compared with Lipofectamine 2000-miR-375 and 2-5 folds compared with free sorafenib). Furthermore, miR-375/Sf-LCC NPs showed greatly enhanced therapeutic efficacy in an HCC xenograft model. These findings suggest that miR-375/Sf-LCC NPs may be a promising agent for the HCC therapy.

STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver tumor and the third leading cause of cancer mortality globally. In this manuscript, miR-375 and sorafenib were co-loaded into calcium carbonate nanoparticles with lipid coating (miR-375/Sf-LCC NPs) to treat HCC. We demonstrated that miR-375/Sf-LCC NPs can deliver sorafenib and miR-375 into HCC cells and tumor tissues, increase drug retention time in tumor, significantly inhibit autophagy and produce enhanced anti-tumor effect.

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