Theranostics 2017; 7(1):9-22. doi:10.7150/thno.16042

Research Paper

Antitumor therapeutic application of self-assembled RNAi-AuNP nanoconstructs: Combination of VEGF-RNAi and photothermal ablation

Sejin Son1, Namho Kim1, Dong Gil You, Hong Yeol Yoon, Ji Young Yhee, Kwangmeyung Kim, Ick Chan Kwon, Sun Hwa Kim

Center for Theragnosis, Biomedical Research Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Hwarangno 14-gil 6, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-791, Republic of Korea.
1. These authors contributed equally.

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Son S, Kim N, You DG, Yoon HY, Yhee JY, Kim K, Kwon IC, Kim SH. Antitumor therapeutic application of self-assembled RNAi-AuNP nanoconstructs: Combination of VEGF-RNAi and photothermal ablation. Theranostics 2017; 7(1):9-22. doi:10.7150/thno.16042. Available from

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Nucleic acid-directed self-assembly provides an attractive method to fabricate prerequisite nanoscale structures for a wide range of technological applications due to the remarkable programmability of DNA/RNA molecules. In this study, exquisite RNAi-AuNP nanoconstructs with various geometries were developed by utilizing anti-VEGF siRNA molecules as RNAi-based therapeutics in addition to their role as building blocks for programmed self-assembly. In particular, the anti-VEGF siRNA-functionalized AuNP nanoconstructs can take additional advantage of gold-nanoclusters for photothermal cancer therapeutic agent. A noticeable technical aspect of self-assembled RNAi-AuNP nanoconstructs in this study is the precise conjugation and separation of designated numbers of therapeutic siRNA onto AuNP to develop highly sophisticated RNA-based building blocks capable of creating various geometries of RNAi-AuNP nano-assemblies. The therapeutic potential of RNAi-AuNP nanoconstructs was validated in vivo as well as in vitro by combining heat generation capability of AuNP and anti-angiogenesis mechanism of siRNA. This strategy of combining anti-VEGF mechanism for depleting angiogenesis process at initial tumor progression and complete ablation of residual tumors with photothermal activity of AuNP at later tumor stage showed effective tumor growth inhibition and tumor ablation with PC-3 tumor bearing mice.

Keywords: small interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA), gold nanoparticle (AuNP), photothermal therapy, anti-VEGF therapy, combination therapy