A nanoparticle formula for delivering siRNA or miRNAs to tumor cells in cell culture and in vivo

Ki Young Choi, Oscar F. Silvestre, Xinglu Huang, Naoki Hida, Gang Liu, Don N. Ho, Seulki Lee, Sang Wook Lee, Jong In Hong, Xiaoyuan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


To improve RNA delivery, we present a protocol to produce an RNA carrier based on a Zn(II)-dipicolylamine (Zn-DPA) analog, which is an artificial receptor for phosphate anion derivatives. We further functionalized this Zn-DPA analog to hyaluronic acid (HA)-based self-assembled nanoparticles (HA-NPs) with a hydrodynamic diameter of 100 nm by conjugating amine-functionalized Zn-DPA molecules onto the HA-NPs through amide formation, resulting in efficient tumor-targeted delivery of RNAs (siRNAs, miRNA or other short oligoribonucleotides) and small-molecule drugs. The functional group of Zn-DPA can be converted into other groups such as a carboxylic or thiol group, and the DPA analog can be covalently attached to a variety of existing and novel platforms or formulations for the development of multifunctional materials via standard bioconjugation techniques. Protocols for RNA formulation and delivery into tumor tissues and tumor cells are also described. Our design strategy offers a versatile and practical method for delivering both RNA and chemotherapeutics to tumor cells and expands existing nanomaterial capabilities to further the field of drug and gene delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1900-1915
Number of pages16
JournalNature protocols
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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