Bacterial tRNase–Based Gene Therapy with Poly(β-Amino Ester) Nanoparticles for Suppressing Melanoma Tumor Growth and Relapse

Sungjin Min, Yoonhee Jin, Chen Yuan Hou, Jayoung Kim, Jordan J. Green, Taek Jin Kang, Seung Woo Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Here, a novel anticancer gene therapy with a bacterial tRNase gene, colicin D or virulence associated protein C (VapC), is suggested using biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles, such as poly(β-amino esters) (PBAEs) as carriers. These genes are meticulously selected, aiming at inhibiting translation in the recipients by hydrolyzing specific tRNA species. In terms of nanoparticles, out of 9 PBAE formulations, a leading polymer, (polyethylene oxide)4-bis-amine end-capped poly(1,4-butanediol diacrylate-co-5-amino-1-pentanol) (B4S5E5), is identified that displays higher gene delivery efficacy to cancer cells compared with the leading commercial reagent Lipofectamine 2000. Interestingly, the B4S5E5 PBAE nanoparticles complexed with colicin D or VapC plasmid DNA induce significant toxicity highly specific to cancer cells by triggering apoptosis. In contrast, the PBAE nanoparticles do not induce these cytotoxic effects in noncancerous cells. In a mouse melanoma model of grafted murine B16-F10 cells, it is demonstrated that treatment with PBAE nanoparticles complexed with these tRNase genes significantly reduces tumor growth rate and delays tumor relapse. Moreover, increased stability of PBAE by PEGylation further enhances the therapeutic effect of tRNase gene treatment and improves survival of animals. This study highlights a nonviral gene therapy that is highly promising for the treatment of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800052
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 22

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S.M. and Y.J. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by grants (Grant Nos. 2016M3C9A4921712 and 2017R1A2B3005994 to S.-W.C., and Grant No. 2017R1D1A1B03033679 to T.J.K.) from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), Republic of Korea. This work was also supported by a grant (Grant No. HI13C1479 to S.-W.C.) from the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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