RNA Therapeutics Institute Publications


Efficient Gene Silencing in Brain Tumors with Hydrophobically Modified siRNAs

UMMS Affiliation

RNA Therapeutics Institute; Program in Molecular Medicine; Department of Neurology; Horae Gene Therapy Center; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Publication Date


Document Type



Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Cancer Biology | Cell Biology | Genetics and Genomics | Neoplasms | Therapeutics


Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and lethal form of primary brain tumor with dismal median and 2-year survivals of 14.5 months and 18%, respectively. The paucity of new therapeutic agents stems from the complex biology of a highly adaptable tumor that uses multiple survival and proliferation mechanisms to circumvent current treatment approaches. Here, we investigated the potency of a new generation of siRNAs to silence gene expression in orthotopic brain tumors generated by transplantation of human glioma stem-like cells in athymic nude mice. We demonstrate that cholesterol-conjugated, nuclease-resistant siRNAs (Chol-hsiRNAs) decrease mRNA and silence luciferase expression by 90% in vitro in GBM neurospheres. Furthermore, Chol-hsiRNAs distribute broadly in brain tumors after a single intratumoral injection, achieving sustained and potent (>45% mRNA and >90% protein) tumor-specific gene silencing. This readily available platform is sequence-independent and can be adapted to target one or more candidate GBM driver genes, providing a straightforward means of modulating GBM biology in vivoMol Cancer Ther; 17(6); 1251-8. ©2018 AACRin vivo.

DOI of Published Version



Mol Cancer Ther. 2018 Jun;17(6):1251-1258. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-17-1144. Epub 2018 Apr 13. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Molecular cancer therapeutics

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID