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Multifunctional PLGA Nanobubbles as Theranostic Agents: Combining Doxorubicin and P-gp siRNA Co-Delivery Into Human Breast Cancer Cells and Ultrasound Cellular Imaging

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Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a major impediment to the success of cancer chemotherapy. One of the effective approaches to overcome MDR is to use nanoparticle-mediated the gene silence of chemotherapeutic export proteins by RNA interference to increase drug accumulation in drug resistant cancer cells. In this work, a new co-delivery system, DOX-PLGA/PEI/P-gp shRNA nanobubbles (NBs) around 327 nm, to overcome doxorubicin (DOX) resistance in MCF-7 human breast cancer was designed and developed. Positively charged polyethylenimine (PEI) were modified onto the surface of DOX-PLGA NBs through DCC/NHS crosslinking, and could efficiently condense P-gp shRNA into DOX-PLGA/PEI NBs at vector/shRNA weight ratios of 70:1 and above. An in vitro release profile demonstrated an efficient DOX release (more than 80%) from DOX-PLGA/PEI NBs at pH 4.4, suggesting a pH-responsive drug release for the multifunctionalized NBs. Cellular experimental results further showed that DOX-PLGA/PEI/P-gp shRNA NBs could facilitate cellular uptake of DOX into cells and increase the cell proliferation suppression effect of DOX against MCF-7/ADR cells (a DOX-resistant and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) over-expression cancer cell line). The IC50 of DOX-PLGA NBs against MCF-7/ADR cells was 2-fold lower than that of free DOX. The increased cellular uptake and nuclear accumulation of DOX delivered by DOX-PLGA/PEI/P-gp shRNA NBs in MCF-7/ADR cells was confirmed by fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence spectrophotometry, and might be owning to the down-regulation of P-gp and reduced the efflux of DOX. The cellular uptake mechanism of DOX-PLGA/PEI/P-gp shRNA NBs indicated that the macropinocytosis was one of the pathways for the uptake of NBs by MCF-7/ADR cells, which was also an energy-dependent process. Furthermore, the in vitro cellular ultrasound imaging suggested that the employment of the DOX-PLGA/PEI/P-gp shRNA NBs could efficiently enhance ultrasound imaging of cancer cells. These results demonstrated that the developed DOX-PLGA/PEI/P-gp shRNA NBs is a potential, safe and efficient theranotic agent for cancer therapy and diagnostics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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