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

5 Scopus citations


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 (US)
Article number1800052
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 22 2018


  • PEGylation
  • anticancer therapy
  • bacterial tRNase
  • nonviral gene delivery
  • poly(β-amino ester)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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