BRC-mediated RNAi targeting of USE1 inhibits tumor growth in vitro and in vivo

Hyejin Kim, Yeon Kyung Lee, Kyung Ho Han, Hyunsu Jeon, In ho Jeong, Sang Yeob Kim, Jong Bum Lee, Peter C.W. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


USE1 has been demonstrated to play crucial roles in the development and progression of human lung cancer. However, the antitumor efficacy of RNA interference (RNAi) targeting of USE1 has not yet been evaluated as a possible clinical application. We here synthesized USE1 targeting bubbled RNA-based cargo (BRC) composed of densely packed multimeric pre-siRNAs with specific Dicer cleavage sites to enable efficient siRNA release upon entry to target cells. The physical entanglement and continuous networking of RNAs via hybridization during enzymatic replication serve as a driving force for the self-assembly of BRCs. These molecules effectively suppressed the transcription of their target genes, leading to tumor growth suppression in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, their repeated intravenous administration efficiently inhibited the growth of A549 tumor xenografts. Based on these findings of a reduced cancer cell viability following a USE1 knockdown, we further explored cell cycle arrest and apoptosis pathways. The observed tumor cell growth suppression was found to be controlled by cell cycle arrest and apoptosis signals induced by the USE1 reduction. These results suggest that USE1 BRCs may have future clinical applications as an RNAi-based cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119630
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Bubbled RNA-based cargo
  • Cancer
  • Gene therapy
  • RNAi
  • USE1


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