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      Exosomes Facilitate Therapeutic Targeting of Oncogenic Kras in Pancreatic Cancer

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          Summary

          The mutant form of the GTPase KRAS is a key driver of pancreatic cancer but remains a challenging therapeutic target. Exosomes, extracellular vesicles generated by all cells, are naturally present in the blood. Here we demonstrate that enhanced retention of exosomes in circulation, compared to liposomes, is due to CD47 mediated protection of exosomes from phagocytosis by monocytes and macrophages. Exosomes derived from normal fibroblast-like mesenchymal cells were engineered to carry siRNA or shRNA specific to oncogenic KRAS G12D (iExosomes), a common mutation in pancreatic cancer. Compared to liposomes, iExosomes target oncogenic Kras with an enhanced efficacy that is dependent on CD47, and is facilitated by macropinocytosis. iExosomes treatment suppressed cancer in multiple mouse models of pancreatic cancer and significantly increased their overall survival. Our results inform on a novel approach for direct and specific targeting of oncogenic Kras in tumors using iExosomes.

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          Most cited references 51

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          A coding-independent function of gene and pseudogene mRNAs regulates tumour biology

          The canonical role of messenger RNA (mRNA) is to deliver protein-coding information to sites of protein synthesis. However, given that microRNAs bind to RNAs, we hypothesized that RNAs possess a biological role in cancer cells that relies upon their ability to compete for microRNA binding and is independent of their protein-coding function. As a paradigm for the protein-coding-independent role of RNAs, we describe the functional relationship between the mRNAs produced by the PTEN tumour suppressor gene and its pseudogene (PTENP1) and the critical consequences of this interaction. We find that PTENP1 is biologically active as determined by its ability to regulate cellular levels of PTEN, and that it can exert a growth-suppressive role. We also show that PTENP1 locus is selectively lost in human cancer. We extend our analysis to other cancer-related genes that possess pseudogenes, such as oncogenic KRAS. Further, we demonstrate that the transcripts of protein coding genes such as PTEN are also biologically active. Together, these findings attribute a novel biological role to expressed pseudogenes, as they can regulate coding gene expression, and reveal a non-coding function for mRNAs.
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            Delivery of siRNA to the mouse brain by systemic injection of targeted exosomes.

            To realize the therapeutic potential of RNA drugs, efficient, tissue-specific and nonimmunogenic delivery technologies must be developed. Here we show that exosomes-endogenous nano-vesicles that transport RNAs and proteins-can deliver short interfering (si)RNA to the brain in mice. To reduce immunogenicity, we used self-derived dendritic cells for exosome production. Targeting was achieved by engineering the dendritic cells to express Lamp2b, an exosomal membrane protein, fused to the neuron-specific RVG peptide. Purified exosomes were loaded with exogenous siRNA by electroporation. Intravenously injected RVG-targeted exosomes delivered GAPDH siRNA specifically to neurons, microglia, oligodendrocytes in the brain, resulting in a specific gene knockdown. Pre-exposure to RVG exosomes did not attenuate knockdown, and non-specific uptake in other tissues was not observed. The therapeutic potential of exosome-mediated siRNA delivery was demonstrated by the strong mRNA (60%) and protein (62%) knockdown of BACE1, a therapeutic target in Alzheimer's disease, in wild-type mice.
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              Inhibition of Hedgehog signaling enhances delivery of chemotherapy in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer.

              Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is among the most lethal human cancers in part because it is insensitive to many chemotherapeutic drugs. Studying a mouse model of PDA that is refractory to the clinically used drug gemcitabine, we found that the tumors in this model were poorly perfused and poorly vascularized, properties that are shared with human PDA. We tested whether the delivery and efficacy of gemcitabine in the mice could be improved by coadministration of IPI-926, a drug that depletes tumor-associated stromal tissue by inhibition of the Hedgehog cellular signaling pathway. The combination therapy produced a transient increase in intratumoral vascular density and intratumoral concentration of gemcitabine, leading to transient stabilization of disease. Thus, inefficient drug delivery may be an important contributor to chemoresistance in pancreatic cancer.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                0410462
                6011
                Nature
                Nature
                Nature
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                19 April 2017
                07 June 2017
                22 June 2017
                07 December 2017
                : 546
                : 7659
                : 498-503
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Cancer Biology, Metastasis Research Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77005
                [2 ]Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Portugal (I3S), 4200 Porto, Portugal; Institute of Pathology and Molecular Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP), 4200 Porto, Portugal
                [3 ]Department of Biostatistics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77005
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: Raghu Kalluri, MD, PhD, rkalluri@ 123456mdanderson.org
                Article
                NIHMS865432
                10.1038/nature22341
                5538883
                28607485

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