Antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides targeted to the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor were encapsulated into liposomes linked to folate via a polyethylene glycol spacer (folate-PEG-liposomes) and efficiently delivered into cultured KB cells via folate receptor-mediated endocytosis. The oligonucleotides were a phosphodiester 15-mer antisense to the EGF receptor (EGFR) gene stop codon (AEGFR2), the same sequence with three phosphorothioate linkages at each terminus (AEGFR2S), a randomized 15-mer control of similar base composition to AEGFR2 (RC15), a 14-mer control derived from a symmetrized Escherichia colt lac operator (LACM), and the 5'- fluorescein-labeled homologs of several of the above. Cellular uptake of AEGFR2 encapsulated in folate-PEG-liposomes was nine times higher than AEGFR2 encapsulated in nontargeted liposomes and 16 times higher than unencapsulated AEGFR2. Treatment of KB cells with AEGFR2 in folate-PEG-liposomes resulted in growth inhibition and significant morphological changes. Curiously, AEGFR2 and AEGFR2S encapsulated in folate-PEG-liposomes exhibited virtually identical growth inhibitory effects, reducing KB cell proliferation by >90% 48 hr after the cells were treated for 4 hr with 3 μM oligonucleotide. Free AEGFR2 caused almost no growth inhibition, whereas free AEGFR2S was only one- fifth as potent as the folate-PEG-liposome-encapsulated oligonucleotide. Growth inhibition of the oligonucleotide-treated cells was probably due to reduced EGFR expression because indirect immunofluorescence staining of the cells with a monoclonal antibody against the EGFR showed an almost quantitative reduction of the EGFR in cells treated with folate-PEG-liposome- entrapped AEGFR2. These results suggest that antisense oligonucleotide encapsulation in folate-PEG-liposomes promise efficient and tumor-specific delivery and that phosphorothioate oligonucleotides appear to offer no major advantage over native phosphodiester DNA when delivered by this route.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Apr 11 1995|
- folate-binding protein
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