Hyaluronic acid-chitosan nanoparticles for co-delivery of MiR-34a and doxorubicin in therapy against triple negative breast cancer

Biomaterials. 2014 May;35(14):4333-44. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.02.006. Epub 2014 Feb 22.


Metastatic relapse, development of drug resistance in cancer cells and adverse side effects of chemotherapeutic agents are the major obstacles for effective chemotherapy against triple-negative breast cancer. To address these problems, miR-34a, a potent endogenous tumor suppressive molecule in breast cancer, was co-encapsulated with doxorubicin (DOX) into hyaluronic acid (HA)-chitosan (CS) nanoparticles (NPs) and simultaneously delivered into breast cancer cells for improved therapeutic effects of drug. DOX-miR-34a co-loaded HA-CS NPs were successfully prepared through ionotropic gelation method in water. In vitro and in vivo experiments showed that miR-34a and DOX can be efficiently encapsulated into HA-CS NPs and delivered into tumor cells or tumor tissues and enhance anti-tumor effects of DOX by suppressing the expression of non-pump resistance and anti-apoptosis proto-oncogene Bcl-2. In addition, intracellular restoration of miR-34a inhibited breast cancer cell migration via targeting Notch-1 signaling. The obtained data suggest that co-delivery of DOX and miR-34a could achieve synergistic effects on tumor suppression and nanosystem-based co-delivery of tumor suppressive miRNAs and chemotherapeutic agents may be a promising combined therapeutic strategy for enhanced anti-tumor therapy.

Keywords: Co-delivery; Combined therapy; Doxorubicin; MicroRNA-34a; Nanoparticles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / genetics
  • Chitosan / chemistry*
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Endocytosis / drug effects
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / chemistry*
  • Light
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / ultrastructure
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • RNA Stability / drug effects
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Solvents
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / pathology


  • MicroRNAs
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Solvents
  • Doxorubicin
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Chitosan