Research Papers:

Characterization of aptamer-mediated gene delivery system for liver cancer therapy

Zhongbing Liu, Xiaoduan Sun, Shuangli Xiao, Yan Lin, Chunhong Li, Na Hao, Meiling Zhou, Ruolan Deng, Siyun Ke and Zhirong Zhong _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:6830-6840. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23564

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Zhongbing Liu1,*, Xiaoduan Sun1,*, Shuangli Xiao1,2,*, Yan Lin1, Chunhong Li1, Na Hao1, Meiling Zhou1,2, Ruolan Deng1, Siyun Ke3 and Zhirong Zhong1

1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, China

2Department of Pharmacy, The Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, China

3Luzhou Senior High School, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Zhirong Zhong, email: [email protected]

Keywords: liver cancer; adenovirus; PTEN; aptamer EpDT3; cell migration

Received: September 30, 2017     Accepted: October 27, 2017     Published: December 21, 2017


Liver cancer is a fatal disease with limited therapy options. The recombinant adenovirus expressing tumor-suppressor gene of PTEN (Ad5-PTEN) showed effective antitumor activity against liver cancer. However, its disadvantages produced great limitation on its application, especially its nonspecific and toxicity to normal cells and tissues. The epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is over-expressed in some liver cancer cells and an RNA aptamer EpDT3 could specially target to EpCAM-positive cells. Based on this founding, we aimed to design a kind of gene delivery system of EpDT3-mediated Ad5-PTEN (EpDT3-PEG-Ad5-PTEN, EPAP) in which polyethylene glycol was used to be a linker to conjugate EpDT3 with Ad5-PTEN. This strategy may overcome the disadvantages of naked Ad5-PTEN and enhance the antitumor effect on liver cancer. The SDS-PAGE electrophoresis, TBE-PAGE electrophoresis and fluorescence detection were conducted to confirm the successful preparation of EPAP. Compared with the naked Ad5-PTEN, EPAP showed significant anti-proliferative and anti-migratory activities against HepG2 cells. EPAP also showed selective and precise target ability to EpCAM-positive HepG2 cells in vivo. Therefore, EPAP may be further explored as a novel effective anticancer drug for malignant liver cancer.

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