• cationic bovine serum albumin;
  • drug delivery;
  • metastatic cancer therapy;
  • nanoparticles;
  • siRNA

It is generally believed that intravenous application of cationic vectors is limited by the binding of abundant negatively charged serum components, which may cause rapid clearance of the therapeutic agent from the blood stream. However, previous studies show that systemic delivery of cationic gene vectors mediates specific and efficient transfection within the lung, mainly as a result of interaction of the vectors with serum proteins. Based on these findings, a novel and charge-density-controllable siRNA delivery system is developed to treat lung metastatic cancer by using cationic bovine serum albumin (CBSA) as the gene vector. By surface modification of BSA, CBSA with different isoelectric points (pI) is synthesized and the optimal cationization degree of CBSA is determined by considering the siRNA binding and delivery ability, as well as toxicity. The CBSA can form stable nanosized particles with siRNA and protect siRNA from degradation. CBSA also shows excellent abiliies to intracellularly deliver siRNA and mediate significant accumulation in the lung. When Bcl2-specific siRNA is introduced to this system, CBSA/siRNA nanoparticles exhibit an efficient gene-silencing effect that induces notable cancer cell apoptosis and subsequently inhibits the tumor growth in a B16 lung metastasis model. These results indicate that CBSA-based self-assembled nanoparticles can be a promising strategy for a siRNA delivery system for lung targeting and metastatic cancer therapy.