Aim: To develop novel peptide-based nanocomplexes (NCs) for delivery of anti-miRNA oligonucleotides to human-derived pancreatic stellate cells (hPSCs), precursors of cancer-associated fibroblasts.
Materials & methods: NCs of anti-miRNA oligonucleotides and cell-penetrating peptides (different variants) were formed and characterized. The effects of anti-miR-199a delivery on hPSC differentiation and 3D heterospheroid formation were investigated.
Results: Dimeric cell-penetrating peptide based NCs (NC-2) showed 130-fold higher uptake by hPSCs compared with monomer-based NCs (NC-1) and tenfold higher uptake compared with general fibroblasts and different pancreatic tumor cells. Interestingly, delivery of anti-miR-199a inhibited hPSC differentiation into cancer-associated fibroblasts and inhibited the size of 3D heterospheroids comprised of hPSCs and tumor cells.
Conclusion: Our NCs present a highly efficient anti-miRNA delivery system to hPSCs to inhibit their protumorigenic activity.
- cancer-associated fibroblasts
- cell-penetrating peptides
- miRNA delivery
- pancreatic cancer
- tumor microenvironment