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Surface modification of TPGS-b-(PCL-ran-PGA) nanoparticles with polyethyleneimine as a co-delivery system of TRAIL and endostatin for cervical cancer gene therapy

Yi Zheng12, Hongbo Chen12, Xiaowei Zeng12, Zhigang Liu3, Xiaojun Xiao3, Yongqiang Zhu12, Dayong Gu14* and Lin Mei12*

Author affiliations

1 The Shenzhen Key Lab of Gene and Antibody Therapy, Center for Biotechnology and BioMedicine and Division of Life Science and Health, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, L401, Tsinghua Campus, Xili University Town, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, 518055, People's Republic of China

2 School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, People's Republic of China

3 School of Medicine, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, 518060, People's Republic of China

4 Institute of Disease Control and Prevention, Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, Shenzhen, 518045, People's Republic of China

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:161  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-161

Published: 9 April 2013


The efficient delivery of therapeutic genes into cells of interest is a critical challenge to broad application of non-viral vector systems. In this research, a novel TPGS-b-(PCL-ran-PGA) nanoparticle modified with polyethyleneimine was applied to be a vector of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and endostatin for cervical cancer gene therapy. Firstly, a novel biodegradable copolymer, TPGS-b-(PCL-ran-PGA), was synthesized and characterized. The nanoparticles were fabricated by an emulsion/solvent evaporation method and then further modified with polyethyleneimine (PEI) carrying TRAIL and/or endostatin genes. The uptake of pIRES2-EGFP and/or pDsRED nanoparticles by HeLa cells were observed by fluorescence microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The cell viability of TRAIL/endostatin-loaded nanoparticles in HeLa cells was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide assay. Severe combined immunodeficient mice carrying HeLa tumor xenografts were treated in groups of six including phosphate-buffered saline control, blank TPGS-b-(PCL-ran-PGA) nanoparticles, blank TPGS-b-(PCL-ran-PGA)/PEI nanoparticles, and three types of gene nanoparticles. The activity was assessed using average increase in survival time, body weight, and solid tumor volume. All the specimens were then prepared as formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue sections for hematoxylin-eosin staining. The data showed that the nanoparticles could efficiently deliver plasmids into HeLa cells. The cytotoxicity of the HeLa cells was significantly increased by TRAIL/endostatin-loaded nanoparticles when compared with control groups. The use of TPGS in combination with TRAIL and endostatin had synergistic antitumor effects. In conclusion, the TRAIL/endostatin-loaded nanoparticles offer considerable potential as an ideal candidate for in vivo cancer gene delivery.

TPGS-b-(PCL-ran-PGA); Nanoparticles; Cervical cancer; TRAIL; Endostatin; Gene delivery