Versatile RNA Interference Nanoplatform for Systemic Delivery of RNAs

Development of nontoxic, tumor-targetable, and potent <i>in vivo</i> RNA delivery systems remains an arduous challenge for clinical application of RNAi therapeutics. Herein, we report a versatile RNAi nanoplatform based on tumor-targeted and pH-responsive nanoformulas (NFs). The NF was engineered by combination of an artificial RNA receptor, Zn(II)-DPA, with a tumor-targetable and drug-loadable hyaluronic acid nanoparticle, which was further modified with a calcium phosphate (CaP) coating by <i>in situ</i> mineralization. The NF can encapsulate small-molecule drugs within its hydrophobic inner core and strongly secure various RNA molecules (siRNAs, miRNAs, and oligonucleotides) by utilizing Zn(II)-DPA and a robust CaP coating. We substantiated the versatility of the RNAi nanoplatform by demonstrating effective delivery of siRNA and miRNA for gene silencing or miRNA replacement into different human types of cancer cells <i>in vitro</i> and into tumor-bearing mice <i>in vivo</i> by intravenous administration. The therapeutic potential of NFs coloaded with an anticancer drug doxorubicin (Dox) and multidrug resistance 1 gene target siRNA (siMDR) was also demonstrated in this study. NFs loaded with Dox and siMDR could successfully sensitize drug-resistant OVCAR8/ADR cells to Dox and suppress OVCAR8/ADR tumor cell proliferation <i>in vitro</i> and tumor growth <i>in vivo</i>. This gene/drug delivery system appears to be a highly effective nonviral method to deliver chemo- and RNAi therapeutics into host cells.