Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a multifunctional angiogenic growth factor that is a primary stimulant of the development and maintenance of a vascular network in the vascularization of solid tumors. It has been reported that a blockade of VEGF-mediated angiogenesis is a powerful method for tumor regression. RNA interference represents a naturally occurring biological strategy for inhibition of gene expression. In mammalian systems, however, the in vivo application of small interfering RNA (siRNA) is severely limited by the instability and poor bioavailability of unmodified siRNA molecules. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that a hydrophobically modified protein transduction domain, cholesteryl oligo-d-arginine (Chol-R9), may stabilize and enhance tumor regression efficacy of the VEGF-targeting siRNA. The noncovalent complexation of a synthetic siRNA with Chol-R9 efficiently delivered siRNA into cells in vitro. Moreover, in a mouse model bearing a subcutaneous tumor, the local administration of complexed VEGF-targeting siRNA, but not of scrambled siRNA, led to the regression of the tumor. Hence, we propose a novel and simple system for the local in vivo application of siRNA through Chol-R9 for cancer therapy.
- RNA interference
- gene therapy