International Journal of Nanomedicine (Aug 2021)

TME-Responsive Multistage Nanoplatform for siRNA Delivery and Effective Cancer Therapy

  • Cao S,
  • Lin C,
  • Li X,
  • Liang Y,
  • Saw PE

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 16
pp. 5909 – 5921


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Shuwen Cao,1,2 Chunhao Lin,1,2 Xiuling Li,1,2 Yixia Liang,1,2 Phei Er Saw1,2 1Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Epigenetics and Gene Regulation, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 2RNA Biomedical Institute, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of ChinaCorrespondence: Phei Er Saw Email [email protected]: Since the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi), RNAi technology has rapidly developed into an efficient tool for post-transcriptional gene silencing, which has been widely used for clinical or preclinical treatment of various diseases including cancer. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) is the effector molecule of RNAi technology. However, as polyanionic macromolecules, naked siRNAs have a short circulatory half-life (< 15 min) and is rapidly cleared by renal filtration, which greatly hinders their clinical application. Furthermore, the anionic and macromolecular characteristics of naked siRNAs impede their readiness to cross the cell membrane and therefore delivery vehicles are required to facilitate the cellular uptake and cytosolic delivery of naked siRNAs. In the past decade, numerous nanoparticles (NPs) such as liposomes have been employed for in vivo siRNA delivery, which have achieved favorable therapeutic outcomes in clinical disease treatment. In particular, because tumor microenvironment (TME) or tumor cells show several distinguishing biological/endogenous factors (eg, pH, enzymes, redox, and hypoxia) compared to normal tissues or cells, much attention has recently paid to design and construct TME-responsive NPs for multistaged siRNA delivery, which can respond to biological stimuli to achieve efficient in vivo gene silencing and better anticancer effect. In this review, we summarize recent advances in TME-responsive siRNA delivery systems, especially multistage delivery NPs, and discuss their design principles, functions, effects, and prospects.Keywords: nanoparticles, siRNA, TME-responsive, multistage delivery, cancer therapy