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H2O2-responsive and plaque-penetrating nanoplatform for mTOR gene silencing with robust anti-atherosclerosis efficacy

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Abstract

The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) that controls autophagy and lipid metabolism is pivotal for atherosclerosis initiation and progression. Although blocking the mTOR function with rapamycin and its analogs may stimulate autophagy and consequently attenuate lipid storage and atherosclerotic lesions, only limited success has been achieved in clinical applications due to the unsatisfactory efficacy and safety profiles. In this study, we engineered a cerium oxide nanowire (CeO2 NW)-based RNA interference (RNAi) oligonucleotide delivery nanoplatform for the effective silencing of mTOR and treatment of atherosclerosis. This nanoplatform is composed of the following three key components: (i) a stabilin-2-specific peptide ligand (S2P) to improve plaque targeting and penetration; (ii) polyethylene glycosylation (PEGylation) to extend in vivo circulation time; and (iii) a high aspect ratio CeO2 core to facilitate endosome escape and ensure “on-demand” release of the RNAi payloads through competitive coordination of cytosolic hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Systemic administration of the nanoplatforms efficiently targeted stabilin-2-expressing plaque and suppressed mTOR expression, which significantly rescued the impaired autophagy and inhibited the atherosclerotic lesion progression in apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE/) mice fed with a high-fat diet. These results demonstrated that this H2O2-responsive and plaque-penetrating nanoplatform can be a potent and safe tool for gene therapy of atherosclerosis.

Graphical abstract: H2O2-responsive and plaque-penetrating nanoplatform for mTOR gene silencing with robust anti-atherosclerosis efficacy

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Aug 2017, accepted on 27 Oct 2017 and first published on 27 Oct 2017


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7SC03582A
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2018, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    H2O2-responsive and plaque-penetrating nanoplatform for mTOR gene silencing with robust anti-atherosclerosis efficacy

    W. Gao, Y. Zhao, X. Li, Y. Sun, M. Cai, W. Cao, Z. Liu, L. Tong, G. Cui and B. Tang, Chem. Sci., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SC03582A

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