Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A 2016 5 6() doi 10.1002/jbm.a.35775
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most prevalent malignancy and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. More effective cures for HCC patients are urgently needed, of which gene therapy is among those with the most potential. We previously developed a novel gene carrier by conjugating low molecular weight chitosan with TAT (transactivator of transcription) peptide and LHRH (luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone) analog, with the resultant TAT-LHRH-chitosan conjugate (TLC) demonstrating high selectivity for hepatoma cells in vitro. However, it remains unclear whether TLC can deliver the genes to the target organs and tissues in vivo, which is one of the critical features determining their medical application potential. The current study further investigated the in vivo distribution of TLC/DNA nanoparticles (TLCDNPs) in the nude mice with subcutaneous hepatoma xenografts. It was found that TLCDNPs delayed the renal clearance of DNA and prolonged its circulation time as compared with CS/DNA complexes (CDNPs) and naked DNA, but failed to demonstrate enhanced accumulation of DNA in the hepatoma xenografts. The mechanisms regarding the failure of TLCDNPs’ tumor targeting in the mice bearing subcutaneous hepatoma xenografts remain unclear and need to be further addressed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.