Delivery of expression constructs of secreted frizzled-related protein 4 and its domains by chitosan–dextran sulfate nanoparticles enhances their expression and anti-cancer effects

Vanathi Perumal, Frank Arfuso, Yan Chen, Simon Fox, Arun M. Dharmarajan

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In malignant mesothelioma (MM) cells, secreted frizzled-related protein 4 (SFRP4) expression is downregulated by promoter methylation. In this study, we evaluated the effect of encapsulated chitosan–dextran (CS–DS) nanoparticle formulations of SFRP4 and its cysteine-rich domain (CRD) and netrin-like domain (NLD) as means of SFRP4-GFP protein delivery and their effects in JU77 and ONE58 MM cell lines. CS–DS formulations of SFRP4, CRD, and NLD nanoparticles were prepared by a complex coacervation technique, and particle size ranged from 300 nm for empty particles to 337 nm for particles containing the proteins. Measurement of the zeta potential showed that all preparations were around 25 mV or above, suggesting stable formulation and good affinity for the DNA molecules. The CS–DS nanoparticle formulation maintained high integrity and entrapment efficiency. Gene delivery of SFRP4 and its domains showed enhanced biological effects in both JU77 and ONE58 cell lines when compared to the non-liposomal FUGENE® HD transfection reagent. In comparison to the CRD nanoparticles, both the SFRP4 and NLD nanoparticles significantly reduced the viability of MM cells, with the NLD showing the greatest effect. The CS–DS nanoparticle effects were observed at an earlier time point and with lower DNA concentrations. Morphological changes in MM cells were characterized by the formation of membrane-associated vesicles and green fluorescent protein expression specific to SFRP4 and the NLD. The findings from our proof-of-concept study provide a stepping stone for further investigations using in vivo models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes
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    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)

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