Research ArticleCANCER

Switching the intracellular pathway and enhancing the therapeutic efficacy of small interfering RNA by auroliposome

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Science Advances  22 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 30, eaba5379
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba5379


Gene silencing using small-interfering RNA (siRNA) is a viable therapeutic approach; however, the lack of effective delivery systems limits its clinical translation. Herein, we doped conventional siRNA-liposomal formulations with gold nanoparticles to create “auroliposomes,” which significantly enhanced gene silencing. We targeted MICU1, a novel glycolytic switch in ovarian cancer, and delivered MICU1-siRNA using three delivery systems—commercial transfection agents, conventional liposomes, and auroliposomes. Low-dose siRNA via transfection or conventional liposomes was ineffective for MICU1 silencing; however, in auroliposomes, the same dose gave >85% gene silencing. Efficacy was evident from both in vitro growth assays of ovarian cancer cells and in vivo tumor growth in human ovarian cell line—and patient-derived xenograft models. Incorporation of gold nanoparticles shifted intracellular uptake pathways such that liposomes avoided degradation within lysosomes. Auroliposomes were nontoxic to vital organs. Therefore, auroliposomes represent a novel siRNA delivery system with superior efficacy for multiple therapeutic applications.

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