Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a destructive cancer with poor prognosis. Both novel therapeutic targets and approaches are needed to improve the overall survival of PDAC patients. MicroRNA-212 (miR-212) has been reported as a tumor suppressor in multiple cancers, but its definitive role and exact mechanism in the progression of pancreatic cancer is unclear. In this study, we developed a new chimeric peptide (PL-1) composed of plectin-1-targeted PDAC-specific and arginine-rich RNA-binding motifs which could condense miRNA to self-assemble supramolecular nanoparticles. These nanoparticles could deliver miR-212 into PDAC cells specifically and efficiently which also showed good stability in RNase and serum. Moreover, we demonstrated that PL-1/miR-212 nanoparticles could dramatically enhance the chemotherapeutic effect of doxorubicin for PDAC both in vitro and in vivo. In terms of mechanism, combined miR-212 intervention by PL-1/miR-212 nanoparticles resulted in obvious decrease of USP9X expression (ubiquitin specific peptidase 9, X-linked, USP9X) and eventually enhanced the doxorubicin induced apoptosis and autophagy of PDAC cells. These findings provide a new promising anti-cancer strategy via PL-1/miR-212 nanoparticles and identify miR-212/USP9X as a new potential target for future systemic therapy against human PDAC.
Chen, W., Zhou, Y., Zhi, X., Ma, T., Liu, H., Chen, B. W., … Liang, T. (2019). Delivery of miR-212 by chimeric peptide-condensed supramolecular nanoparticles enhances the sensitivity of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma to doxorubicin. Biomaterials, 192, 590–600. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.11.035