A novel albumin nanocomplex containing both small interfering RNA and gold nanorods for synergetic anticancer therapy†
Therapeutic nanocomplexes have been extensively developed for the effective treatment of aggressive cancers because of their outstanding versatility, easy manipulation, and low cytotoxicity. In this study, we describe the synthesis of a novel bovine serum albumin (BSA)-based nanocomplex harboring both Bcl-2-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) and gold (Au) nanorods (siRNA and rods encapsulated in BSA; SREB) with the aim of developing a targeted breast cancer therapeutic. The SREB complexes contained 2 × 105 siRNA molecules and eight Au nanorods per BSA complex and were successively functionalized with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and anti-ErbB-2 antibodies to facilitate active targeting. The synergetic therapeutic activity originating from the two components effectively induced cell death (∼80% reduction in viability compared with control cells) in target breast cancer cells after a single dose of laser irradiation. Intracellular SREB nanocomplex decomposition by proteolytic enzymes resulted in simultaneous RNA interference and thermal ablation, thus leading to apoptosis in the targeted cancer cells. Moreover, these therapeutic effects were sustained for approximately 72 hours. The intrinsic biocompatibility, multifunctionality, and potent in vitro anticancer properties of these SREB nanocomplexes indicate that they have great therapeutic potential for in vivo targeted cancer therapy, in addition to other areas of nanomedicine.