Use of small interfering RNA (siRNA) is a promising approach for AML treatment as the siRNA molecule can be designed to specifically target proteins that contribute to aberrant cell proliferation in this disease. However, a clinical-relevant means of delivering siRNA molecules must be developed, as the cellular delivery of siRNA is problematic. Here, we report amphiphilic carriers combining a cationic polymer (2 kDa polyethyleneimine, PEI2) with lipophilic moieties to facilitate intracellular delivery of siRNA to AML cell lines. Complete binding of siRNA by the designed carriers was achieved at a polymer:siRNA ratio of ~0.5 and led to siRNA/polymer complexes of ~100 nm size. While the native PEI2 did not display cytotoxicity on AML cell lines THP-1, KG-1 and HL-60, lipid-modification on PEI2 slightly increased the cytotoxicity, which was consistent with increased interaction of polymers with cell membranes. Cellular delivery of siRNA was dependent on the nature of lipid substituent and the extent of lipid substitution, and varied among the three AML cell lines used. Linoleic acid-substituted polymers performed best among the prepared polymers and gave a siRNA delivery equivalent to better performing commercial reagents. Using THP-1 cells and a reporter (GFP) and an endogenous (CXCR4) target, effective silencing of the chosen targets was achieved with 25 to 50 nM of siRNA concentrations, and without adversely affecting subsequent cell growth. We conclude that lipid-substituted PEI2 can serve as an effective delivery of siRNA to leukemic cells and could be employed in molecular therapy of leukemia. © 2012 Landry et al.
Landry, B., Aliabadi, H. M., Samuel, A., Gül-Uludaǧ, H., Jiang, X., Kutsch, O., & Uludaǧ, H. (2012). Effective Non-Viral Delivery of siRNA to Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells with Lipid-Substituted Polyethylenimines. PLoS ONE, 7(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0044197