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Our prior screening of microRNAs (miRs) identified that miR-199a-3p expression is reduced in osteosarcoma cells, one of the most common types of bone tumor. miR-199a-3p exhibited functions of tumor cell growth inhibition, suggesting the potential application of miR-199a-3p as an anticancer agent. In the study reported here, we designed and developed a lipid-modified dextran-based polymeric nanoparticle platform for encapsulation of miRs, and determined the efficiency and efficacy of delivering miR-199a-3p into osteosarcoma cells. In addition, another potent miR, let-7a, which also displayed tumor suppressive ability, was selected as a candidate miR for evaluation. Fluorescence microscopy studies and real-time polymerase chain reaction results showed that dextran nanoparticles could deliver both miR-199a-3p and let-7a into osteosarcoma cell lines (KHOS and U-2OS) successfully. Western blotting analysis and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays demonstrated that dextran nanoparticles loaded with miRs could efficiently downregulate the expression of target proteins and effectively inhibit the growth and proliferation of osteosarcoma cells. These results demonstrate that a lipid-modified dextran-based polymeric nanoparticle platform may be an effective nonviral carrier for potential miR-based anticancer therapeutics.


Nanotechnology | Oncology | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


NOTICE IN COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLISHER POLICY: Copyright 2015 Zhang et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-NC (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any non-commercial medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.