Tumor-targeted carriers provide efficient delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to tumor tissue. CGKRK is one of the well-known tumor targeting peptides with significant specificity for angiogenic blood vessels and tumor cells. Here, we designed fatty acyl conjugated CGKRK peptides, based on the hypothesis that hydrophobically-modified CGKRK peptide could enhance cellular permeation and delivery of siRNA targeted to tumor cells for effective silencing of selected proteins. We synthesized six fatty acyl-peptide conjugates, using a diverse chain of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids to study the efficiency of this approach. At peptide:siRNA weight/weight ratio of 10:1 (N/P ≈ 13.6), almost all the peptides showed complete binding with siRNA, and at a w/w ratio of 20:1 (N/P ≈ 27.3), complete protection of siRNA from early enzymatic degradation was observed. Conjugated peptides and peptide/ siRNA complexes did not show significant cytotoxicity in selected cell lines. The oleic acid-conjugated peptide showed the highest efficiency in siRNA uptake and silencing of kinesin spindle protein at peptide:siRNA w/w ratio of 80:1 (N/P ≈ 109). The siRNA internalization into non-tumorigenic kidney cells was negligible with all fatty acyl-peptide conjugates. These results indicate that conjugation of fatty acids to CGKRK could create an efficient delivery system for siRNA silencing specifically in tumor cells.
Sharma M, El-Sayed NS, Do H, Parang K, Tiwari RK, Aliabadi HM. Tumor-targeted delivery of siRNA using fatty acyl-CGKRK peptide conjugates. Sci Rep. 2017;7:6093. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-06381-y.
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