Nanoparticles escaping RES and endosome: Challenges for siRNA delivery for cancer therapy

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Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) technology has emerged as a promising potential treatment for viral, genetic diseases and cancers. Despite the powerful therapeutic potential of siRNA, there are challenges for developing efficient and specific delivery systems for systemic administration. There are extracellular and intracellular barriers for nanoparticle-mediated delivery. First, nanoparticles are rapidly cleared from the circulation by the reticuloendothelial system (RES). Second, following their cellular uptake, nanoparticles are trapped in endosomes/lysosomes, where siRNA would be degraded by enzymes. In this review, we describe strategies for grafting a polyethylene glycol (PEG) brush to the nanoparticles for evading RES, such that they may effectively accumulate in the tumor by the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. PEG has to shed from the nanoparticles to allow close interaction with the tumor cells. Current strategies for facilitating endosome escape, such as ion pair formation, proton sponge effect, destabilizing endosome membrane, and hydrophobic modification of the vector, are discussed. © 2011 Shutao Guo and Leaf Huang.




Huang, L., & Guo, S. (2011). Nanoparticles escaping RES and endosome: Challenges for siRNA delivery for cancer therapy. Journal of Nanomaterials.

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