Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor, whose malignancy is closely correlated with elevated proto-oncogene c-myc. Intranasal administration emerges as a potential approach to deliver gene into the brain and interfere c-Myc expression. However, powerful permeability in nasal mucosa, selective delivery to glioma and avoidance of premature release during remote transport are imperative to ensure the therapeutic effectiveness. To address the above concerns, herein we constructed a lipoplex based on pre-compression of c-Myc-targeting siRNA (sic-Myc) by octaarginine and subsequent encapsulation by liposome modified with a selected peptide derived from penetratin, named 89WP. It was found that the lipoplex exhibited a stable core-shell structure and could be preferentially internalized along with cell debris by glioma cells via active macropinocytosis. Through this cellular uptake pathway, the lipoplex avoided being entrapped by lysosome and released siRNA in cytoplasm within 4 h, inducing substantial downregulation of c-Myc mRNA and protein expression of glioma cells. Furthermore, due to significantly enhanced permeability in tumor spheroids and nasal mucosa, the lipoplex was competent to deliver more siRNA to orthotopic glioma after intranasal administration, and therefore prolonged the survival time of glioma-bearing mice by inducing apoptosis. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: In the present work, a lipoplex was designed to address the unmet demands on intranasal siRNA delivery to the brain for treatment of glioma. First, a powerful peptide was selected to enable the lipoplex to penetrate nasal mucosa. Second, we found the lipoplex could be selectively internalized along with cell debris by glioma cells via active macropinocytosis, and recorded the entire process. This cellular uptake pathway not only prevented the lipoplex being entrapped by lysosome, but also increased distribution of the lipoplex in orthotopic glioma. Third, this lipoplex provided additional protection for siRNA to avoid premature release during transport from nasal to brain. Overall, this lipoplex improved the gene delivery efficiency of intranasal administration and was promising in the perspective of selectively silencing disease-related genes in intracranial tumor.
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