Slow release and delivery of antisense oligonucleotide drug by self-assembled peptide amphiphile nanofibers
Tekinay, Ayşe Begüm
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Antisense oligonucleotides are short single stranded DNA sequences and they are suggested to be used for treatment of several disorders including cancer. They could enter the cell and specifically inhibit the target gene, however chemical stability, controlled release and intracellular delivery are areas that has to be focused on to increase their efficacy. Gels composed of nanofibrous peptide network have been previously suggested as carriers for controlled delivery of drugs to improve stability and to provide controlled release, but have not been used for oligonucleotide delivery. In this work, a self-assembled peptide nanofibrous system is formed by mixing a cationic peptide amphiphile (PA) with Bcl-2 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN), G3139, through electrostatic interactions. The self-assembly of PA-ODN gel was characterized by circular dichroism, rheology, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). AFM and SEM images revealed establishment of the nanofibrous PA-ODN network. Due to the electrostatic interactions between PA and ODN, ODN release can be controlled by changing PA and ODN concentrations in the PA-ODN gel. Cellular delivery of the ODN by PA-ODN nanofiber complex was observed by fluorescently labeled ODN molecule. Cells incubated with PA-ODN complex had enhanced cellular uptake compared to cells incubated with naked ODN. Furthermore, Bcl-2 mRNA amounts were lower in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells in the presence of PA-ODN complex compared to naked ODN and mismatch ODN evidenced by quantitative RT-PCR studies. These results suggest that PA molecules can control ODN release, enhance cellular uptake and present a novel efficient approach for gene therapy studies and oligonucleotide based drug delivery. In follow-up studies, increase in the internalization efficacy of ODN by incorporation of bioactive sequences, RGDS, to peptide sequence was also shown.