Research Summary: Cdk2 Silencing via a DNA/PCL Electrospun Scaffold Suppresses Proliferation and Increases Death of Breast Cancer Cells


RNA interference (RNAi) is a promising approach for cancer treatment. Site specific and controlled delivery of RNAi could be beneficial to the patient, while at the same time reducing undesirable off-target side effects. We utilized electrospinning to generate a biodegradable scaffold capable of incorporating and delivering a bioactive plasmid encoding for short hairpin (sh) RNA against the cell cycle specific protein, Cdk2. Three electrospun scaffolds were constructed, one using polycaprolactone (PCL) alone (Control) and PCL with plasmid DNA encoding for either Cdk2 (Cdk2i) and EGFP (EGFPi, also served as a control) shRNA. Scaffold fiber diameters ranged from 1 to 20 µm (DNA containing) and 0.2–3 µm (Control). While the electrospun fibers remained intact for more than two weeks in physiological buffer, degradation was visible during the third week of incubation. Approximately 20–60 ng/ml (∼2.5% cumulative release) of intact and bioactive plasmid DNA was released over 21 days. Further, Cdk2 mRNA expression in cells plated on the Cdk2i scaffold was decreased by ∼51% and 30%, in comparison with that of cells plated on Control or EGFPi scaffold, respectively. This decrease in Cdk2 mRNA by the Cdk2i scaffold translated to a ∼40% decrease in the proliferation of the breast cancer cell line, MCF-7, as well as the presence of increased number of dead cells. Taken together, these results represent the first successful demonstration of the delivery of bioactive RNAi-based plasmid DNA from an electrospun polymer scaffold, specifically, in disrupting cell cycle regulation and suppressing proliferation of cancer cells.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 20-December-2012

Author(s): Achille C., Sundaresh S., Chu B., Hadjiargyrou M.


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