RNAi-mediated gene knockdown and anti-angiogenic therapy of RCCs using a cyclic RGD-modified liposomal-siRNA system

Yu Sakurai, Hiroto Hatakeyama, Yusuke Sato, Mamoru Hyodo, Hidetaka Akita, Noritaka Ohga, Kyoko Hida, Hideyoshi Harashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Angiogenesis is one of crucial processes associated with tumor growth and development, and consequently a prime target for cancer therapy. Although tumor endothelial cells (TECs) play a key role in pathological angiogenesis, investigating phenotypical changes in neovessels when a gene expression in TEC is suppressed is a difficult task. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) represents a potential agent due to its ability to silence a gene of interest. We previously developed a system for in vivo siRNA delivery to cancer cells that involves a liposomal-delivery system, a MEND that contains a unique pH-sensitive cationic lipid, YSK05 (YSK-MEND). In the present study, we report on the development of a system that permits the delivery of siRNA to TECs by combining the YSK-MEND and a ligand that is specific to TECs. Cyclo(Arg-Gly-Asp-D-Phe-Lys) (cRGD) is a well-known ligand to αVβ3 integrin, which is selectively expressed at high levels in TECs. We incorporated cRGD into the YSK-MEND (RGD-MEND) to achieve an efficient gene silencing in TECs. Quantitative RT-PCR and the 5′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends PCR indicated that the intravenous injection of RGD-MEND at a dose of 4.0 mg/kg induced a significant RNAi-mediated gene reduction in TEC but not in endothelial cells of other organs. Finally, we evaluated the therapeutic potency of the RGD-MEND encapsulating siRNA against vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2. A substantial delay in tumor growth was observed after three sequential RGD-MEND injections on alternate days. In conclusion, the RGD-MEND represents a new approach for the characterization of TECs and for us in anti-angiogenic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Active targeting
  • Anti-angiogenic therapy
  • Cyclic RGD
  • Liposome
  • siRNA


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