Delivery of antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides against the human epidermal growth factor receptor into cultured KB cells with liposomes conjugated to folate via polyethylene glycol

Susan Wang, Robert J. Lee, Greg Cauchon, David G. Gorenstein, Philip S. Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

251 Scopus citations

Abstract

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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3318-3322
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume92
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 11 1995

Keywords

  • folate-binding protein
  • liposome-targeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics

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