Research Article


2019, 12(1): 41–48


Photo-controlled release of paclitaxel and model drugs from RNA pyramids

Congcong Xu1, Hui Li1, Kaiming Zhang2, Daniel W. Binzel1, Hongran Yin1, Wah Chiu2,3, and Peixuan Guo1 (*)

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1 Center for RNA Nanobiotechnology and Nanomedicine; Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Pharmacy; Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, College of Medicine and James Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
2 Departments of Bioengineering, Microbiology and Immunology, and James H. Clark Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
3 SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA

Keywords: RNA nanotechnology, controlled release, paclitaxel, drug delivery, RNA nanoparticles, Phi29 three-way junction
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Stimuli-responsive release of drugs from a nanocarrier in spatial-, temporal-, and dosage-controlled fashions is of great interest in the pharmaceutical industry. Paclitaxel is one of the most effective and popular chemotherapeutic drugs against a number of cancers such as metastatic or nonmetastatic breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, refractory ovarian cancer, AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma, and head and neck cancers. Here, by taking the advantage of RNA nanotechnology in biomedical and material science, we developed a three-dimensional pyramid-shaped RNA nanocage for a photocontrolled release of cargo, using paclitaxel as a model drug. The light-triggered release of paclitaxel or fluorophore Cy5 was achieved by incorporation of photocleavable spacers into the RNA nanoparticles. Upon irradiation with ultraviolet light, cargos were rapidly released (within 5 min). In vitro treatment of breast cancer cells with the RNA nanoparticles harboring photocleavable paclitaxel showed higher cytotoxicity as compared to RNA nanoparticles without the photocleavable spacer. The methodology provides proof of concept for the application of the light-triggered controlled release of drugs from RNA nanocages.
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Photo-controlled release of paclitaxel and model drugs from RNA pyramids. Nano Res. 2019, 12(1): 41–48

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