Favorable biodistribution, specific targeting and conditional endosomal escape of RNA nanoparticles in cancer therapy.

Xu C, Haque F, Jasinski DL, Binzel DW, Shu D, Guo P
Cancer Lett 414 57-70 01/01/2018


The past decades have witnessed the successful transition of several nanotechnology platforms into the clinical trials. However, specific delivery of therapeutics to tumors is hindered by several barriers including cancer recognition and tissue penetration, particle heterogeneity and aggregation, and unfavorable pharmacokinetic profiles such as fast clearance and organ accumulation. With the advent of RNA nanotechnology, a series of RNA nanoparticles have been successfully constructed to overcome many of the aforementioned challenges for in vivo cancer targeting with favorable biodistribution profiles. Compared to other nanodelivery platforms, the physiochemical properties of RNA nanoparticles can be tuned with relative ease for investigating the in vivo behavior of nanoparticles upon systemic injection. The size, shape, and surface chemistry, especially hydrophobic modifications, exert significant impacts on the in vivo fate of RNA nanoparticles. Rationally designed RNA nanoparticles with defined stoichiometry and high homogeneity have been demonstrated to specifically target tumor cells while avoiding accumulation in healthy vital organs after systemic injection. RNA nanoparticles were proven to deliver therapeutics such as siRNA and anti-miRNA to block tumor growth in several animal models. Although the release of anti-miRNA from the RNA nanoparticles has achieved high efficiency of tumor regression in multiple animal models, the efficiency of endosomal escape for siRNA delivery needs further improvement. This review focuses on the advances and perspectives of this promising RNA nanotechnology platform for cancer targeting and therapy.

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