• breast cancer;
  • LSNs;
  • nonviral vector;
  • p53;
  • pCMV


Objectives  Mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene are one among the most common genetic abnormalities to be described in breast cancer. However, there are a few recant reports on non-viral vector-mediated p53 gene delivery in breast cancer.

Methods  A new formulation of luminescent silica nanoparticles (LSNs) for gene delivery was produced by the two-step method with slight modification.

Key findings  The pp53 plasmid constructs (p53-EGFP)/LSNs complexes were transfected into human breast cancer cell (MCF-7) and transfection efficiency was determined by FACS analysis. The gene expression was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot analysis respectively. Further the growth inhibition through induced apoptosis with pp53-EGFP/LSNs complex were assessed by trypan blue exclusion assay and annexin V staining, respectively. Interestingly the in vivo biodistribution of plasmid DNA study revealed the occurrence was investigated by PCR and RT-PCR. The transfection efficiency of LSNs showed the highest transfection efficiency among the LSN formulation was higher than that of commercially available Lipofectin®. The LSNs-mediated transfection of the p53 gene resulted in efficient high level of wild-type p53 mRNA and protein expression levels in MCF-7 cells. Selected tissues were analyzed for any potential toxicity by histological analysis the efficient reestablishment of wild-type p53 function in breast cancer cells restored the p53 dependent apoptotic pathway.

Conclusions  Taken together, our results reveal that cationic LSN-mediated p53 gene delivery may have potential application as a non-viral vector-mediated breast cancer gene therapy due to its effective induction of apoptosis and tumor growth inhibition.