Development of Cationic Lipid LAH4-L1 siRNA Complexes for Focused Ultrasound Enhanced Tumor Uptake

Shahd Abuhelal, Miguel Centelles, Michael Wright, James Mason, Maya Thanou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


RNAi has considerable potential as a cancer therapeutic approach, but effective and efficient delivery of short interfering RNA (siRNA) to tumors remains a major hurdle. It remains a challenge to prepare a functional siRNA complex, target enough dose to the tumor, and stimulate its internalization into tumor cells and its release to the cytoplasm. Here, we show how these key barriers to siRNA delivery can be overcome with a complex comprising siRNA, cationic lipids, and pH-responsive peptides that is suited to tumor uptake enhancement via focused ultrasound (FUS). The complex provides effective nucleic acid encapsulation, nuclease protection, and endosomal escape such that gene silencing in cells is substantially more effective than that obtained with either equivalent lipoplexes or commercial reagents. In mice bearing MDA-MB-231 breast cancer xenografts, both lipid and ternary, lipid:peptide:siRNA complexes, prepared with near-infrared fluorescently labeled siRNA, accumulate in tumors following FUS treatments. Therefore, combining a well-designed lipid:peptide:siRNA complex with FUS tumor treatments is a promising route to achieve robust in vivo gene delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2341-2351
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2023


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