Enzyme-responsive liposomes modified adenoviral vectors for enhanced tumor cell transduction and reduced immunogenicity.

Abstract

Limitations of adenoviral (Ad) vectors for cancer gene therapy could be overcome by their combination with pharmaceutical technologies. Here we show that an enzyme-responsive liposomal formulation could significantly enhance the tumor cell transduction abilities and reduce the immunogenicity of Ad vectors. In the current research, the enzymatically cleavable PEG-lipids composed of a PEG/matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-substrate peptide/cholesterol (PPC) were synthesized and characterized by (1)H NMR and TOF MS ES(+). The obtained MMP-cleavable lipids were inserted into the anionic liposomal Ad vectors (AL-Ad) by the post-insertion method. The results of in vitro infection assays indicated that the enzymatically cleavable formulation (PPC-AL-Ad) displayed a much higher gene expression than naked Ad5 and the non-cleavable PEG-lipid modified Ad vectors in tumor cells. More importantly, PPC-AL-Ad induces a lower production of neutralizing antibody and lower innate immune response, as well as significantly reduced liver toxicity in vivo. These findings suggest that PPC-AL-Ad is a promising system for gene delivery in tumor therapy.

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