Iranian researchers from Mashhad University of Technology in association with their counterparts from Rutgers University in the US produced peptide carriers to be used in targeted gene delivery to breast cancer cells.
The carriers have biological base and are able to compress genes to nanometric scale, and they can be used in the treatment of cancers, including breast cancer.
Gene therapy is one of the methods to treat various diseases, which has recently attracted the attention of scientists. Effective and true delivery of gene to the target tissue is the most important part of this treatment, which has always been a challenge in this method. A good carrier should compress DNA at micron scale to a nanoparticle so that the particle will be adsorbed by cell membrane through endocytosis.
In-vitro analysis showed that the newly-produced carrier could successfully pass through all cellular blocks and it successfully delivered luciferase gene to the core of AR-75-1 cells. Among other advantages of these biological carriers, mention can be made of their low toxicity in comparison with virus carriers and chemical and polymeric kinetics carriers.
Dr. Fatemeh Soltani, one of the Iranian researchers, explained about the plan, and said, “By obtaining recombinant peptides of the newly produced carrier with biological source and high performance, it can be expected that the product would take the place of virus carriers in the future to transfer gene in gene therapy process in the treatment of various diseases.”
Some results of the research have been published in January 2013 in International Journal of Pharmaceutics, vol. 441, pp. 307-315.