Conventional breast cancer therapies have significant limitations that warrant a search for alternative therapies. Short-interfering RNA (siRNA), delivered by polymeric biomaterials and capable of silencing specific genes critical for growth of cancer cells, holds great promise as an effective and more specific therapy. Here, we employed amphiphilic polymers and silenced the expression of two cell cycle proteins, TTK and CDC20, and the anti-apoptosis protein survivin to determine the efficacy of polymer-mediated siRNA treatment in breast cancer cells as well as side effects in non-malignant cells in vitro. We first identified effective siRNA carriers by screening a library of lipid-substituted polyethylenimines (PEI), and PEI substituted with linoleic acid (LA) emerged as the most effective carrier for selected siRNAs. Combinations of TTK/CDC20 and CDC20/Survivin siRNAs decreased the growth of MDA-MB-231 cells significantly, while only TTK/CDC20 combination inhibited MCF7 cell growth. The effects of combinational siRNA therapy was higher when complexes were formulated at lower siRNA:polymer ratio (1:2) compared to higher ratio (1:8) in non-malignant cells. The lead polymer (1.2PEI-LA6) showed differential transfection efficiency based on the cell-type transfected. We conclude that the lipid-substituted polymers could serve as a viable platform for delivery of multiple siRNAs against critical targets in breast cancer therapy.
Parmar, M.B., Arteaga Ballesteros, B.E., Fu, T., Bahadur KC, R., Aliabadi, H.M., Hugh, J.C., Löbenberg, R., Uludağ, H., 2016. Multiple siRNA delivery against cell cycle and anti-apoptosis proteins using lipid-substituted polyethylenimine in triple-negative breast cancer and non-malignant cells. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. n/a-n/a. doi:10.1002/jbm.a.35846