Aptamer-equipped protamine nanomedicine for precision lymphoma therapy

Zihua Zeng, Ching Hsuan Tung, Youli Zu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is the most common T-cell lymphoma in children. ALCL cells characteristically express surface CD30 molecules and carry the pathogenic ALK oncogene, both of which are diagnostic biomarkers and are also potential therapeutic targets. For precision therapy, we report herein a protamine nanomedicine incorporated with oligonucleotide aptamers to selectively target lymphoma cells, a dsDNA/drug payload to efficiently kill targeted cells, and an siRNA to specifically silence ALK oncogenes. The aptamer-equipped protamine nanomedicine was simply fabricated through a non-covalent charge-force reaction. The products had uniform structure morphology under an electron microscope and a peak diameter of 103 nm by dynamic light scattering measurement. Additionally, flow cytometry analysis demonstrated that under CD30 aptamer guidance, the protamine nanomedicine specifically bound to lymphoma cells, but did not react to off-target cells in control experiments. Moreover, specific cell targeting and intracellular delivery of the nanomedicine were also validated by electron and confocal microscopy. Finally, functional studies demonstrated that, through combined cell-selective chemotherapy using a drug payload and oncogene-specific gene therapy using an siRNA, the protamine nanomedicine effectively killed lymphoma cells with little toxicity to off-target cells, indicating its potential for precision therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number780
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 25 2020


  • Aptamer
  • Lymphoma
  • Precision therapy
  • Protamine nanomedicine
  • Targeting delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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