Engineered exosomes delivering specific tumor-suppressive RNAi attenuate oral cancer progression

Exosomes are involved in a wide range of biological processes in human cells. Considerable evidence suggests that engineered exosomes (eExosomes) containing therapeutic agents can attenuate the oncogenic activity of human cancer cells. Despite its biomedical relevance, no information has been available for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), and therefore the development of specific OSCC-targeting eExosomes (octExosomes) is urgently needed.

Researchers from Chiba University demonstrated that exosomes from normal fibroblasts transfected with Epstein–Barr Virus Induced-3 (EBI3) cDNA were electroporated with siRNA of lymphocyte cytoplasmic protein 1 (LCP1), as octExosomes, and a series of experiments were performed to evaluate the loading specificity/effectiveness and their anti-oral cancer cell activities after administration of octExosomes. These experiments revealed that octExosomes were stable, effective for transferring siLCP1 into OSCC cells and LCP1 was downregulated in OSCC cells with octExosomes as compared with their counterparts, leading to a significant tumor-suppressive effect in vitro and in vivo. Here the researchers report the development of a new valuable tool for inhibiting tumor cells. By engineering exosomes, siLCP1 was transferred to specifically suppress oncogenic activity of OSCC cells. Inhibition of other types of human malignant cells merits further study.

Kase Y, Uzawa K, Wagai S et al. (2021) Engineered exosomes delivering specific tumor-suppressive RNAi attenuate oral cancer progression. Sci Rep 11, 5897. [article]

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