siRNAs targeting multidrug transporter genes sensitise breast tumour to doxorubicin in a syngeneic mouse model
Chemotherapy, the commonly favoured approach to treat cancer is frequently associated with treatment failure and recurrence of disease as a result of development of multidrug resistance (MDR) with concomitant over-expression of drug efflux proteins on cancer cells. One of the most widely used drugs, doxorubicin (Dox) is a substrate of three different ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, namely, ABCB1, ABCG2 and ABCC1, predominantly contributing to MDR phenotype in cancer. To silence these transporter-coding genes and thus enhance the therapeutic efficacy of Dox, pH-sensitive carbonate apatite (CA) nanoparticles (NPs) were employed as a carrier system to co-deliver siRNAs against these genes and Dox in breast cancer cells and in a syngeneic breast cancer mouse model. siRNAs and Dox were complexed with NPs by incubation at 37 °C and used to treat cancer cell lines to check cell viability and caspase-mediated signal. 4T1 cells-induced breast cancer mouse model was used for treatment with the complex to confirm their action in tumour regression. Smaller (∼200 nm) and less polydisperse NPs that were taken up more effectively by tumour tissue could enhance Dox chemosensitivity, significantly reducing the tumour size in a very low dose of Dox (0.34 mg/kg), in contrast to the limited effect observed in breast cancer cell lines. The study thus proposes that simultaneous delivery of siRNAs against transporter genes and Dox with the help of CA NPs could be a potential therapeutic intervention in effectively treating MDR breast cancer.