Targeted treatment of metastatic breast cancer by PLK1 siRNA delivered by an antioxidant nanoparticle platform

Jingga Morry, Worapol Ngamcherdtrakul, Shenda Gu, Moataz Reda, David J. Castro, Thanapon Sangvanich, Joe W. Gray, Wassana Yantasee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Metastatic breast cancer is developed in about 20%to 30% of newly diagnosed patients with early-stage breast cancer despite treatments. Herein, we report a novel nanoparticle platform with intrinsic antimetastatic properties for the targeted delivery of Polo-like kinase 1 siRNA (siPLK1). We first evaluated it in a triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) model, which shows high metastatic potential. PLK1 was identified as the top therapeutic target for TNBC cells and tumor-initiating cells in a kinomewide screen. The platform consists of a 50-nm mesoporous silica nanoparticle (MSNP) core coated layer-by-layer with bioreducible cross-linked PEI and PEG polymers, conjugated with an antibody for selective uptake into cancer cells. siRNA is loaded last and fully protected under the PEG layer from blood enzymatic degradation. The material has net neutral charge and low nonspecific cytotoxicity. We have also shown for the first time that the MSNP itself inhibited cancer migration and invasion in TNBC cells owing to its ROS- and NOX4-modulating properties. In vivo, siPLK1 nanoconstructs (six doses of 0.5 mg/kg) knocked down about 80% of human PLK1 mRNA expression in metastatic breast cancer cells residing in mouse lungs and reduced tumor incidence and burden in lungs and other organs of an experimental metastasis mouse model. Long-term treatment significantly delayed the onset of death in mice and improved the overall survival. The platform capable of simultaneously inhibiting the proliferative and metastatic hallmarks of cancer progression is unique and has great therapeutic potential to also target other metastatic cancers beyond TNBC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-772
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular cancer therapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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