Purpose: siRNA may be delivered as electrostatic complexes with cationic lipids (lipoplexes) or polycations (polyplexes). The purpose of this project was to determine the effect of cellular internalization mechanism(s) on siRNA-mediated gene silencing efficiency. Methods: Lipoplexes were formed comprising siRNA and N-[1-(2,3-dioleoyloxy)propyl]-N,N,N-trimethylammonium methyl-sulfate (DOTAP), cholesterol and dioleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE), and polyplexes comprised siRNA with polyethylenimine (PEI). During transfections, specific uptake mechanisms were inhibited by pharmacological agents and RNAi-mediated knockdown of proteins involved in various endocytosis pathways. Confocal fluorescence microscopy further elucidated the predominant endocytic pathways of siRNA delivery via colocalization of vectors with endocytic vesicle markers. Results: Inhibition of macropinocytosis (MP), caveolin-mediated endocytosis (CvME), flotillin-mediated endocytosis (FME) and knockdown of ARF6 significantly decreased PEI/siRNA-mediated gene silencing. Inhibition of endocytosis pathways, however, had negligible effect on lipoplex uptake and gene silencing mediated by lipoplexes. Rather, internalization of lipoplexes and subsequent siRNA-mediated gene silencing occurred via an energy-independent process. Conclusions: MP, CvME and FME, but not the acidified clathrin-mediated pathway, lead to effective gene silencing by PEI/siRNA polyplexes. Lipoplexes, in contrast, deliver siRNA primarily by direct fusion of the liposomal and cellular membranes. These results provide a new understanding of the mechanisms of siRNA delivery materials in HeLa cells and may aid in design of more effective RNAi strategies.
|Number of pages||13|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2016|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.
- siRNA delivery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Organic Chemistry
- Pharmacology (medical)