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Endocytic profiling of cancer cell models reveals critical factors influencing lipid nanoparticle mediated mRNA delivery and protein expression

Sayers, Edward J., Peel, Samantha E., Schantz, Anna, England, Richard M., Beano, Maya, Bates, Stephanie M., Desai, Arpan S., Puri, Sanyogitta, Ashford, Marianne B. and Jones, Arwyn T. 2019. Endocytic profiling of cancer cell models reveals critical factors influencing lipid nanoparticle mediated mRNA delivery and protein expression. Molecular Therapy 27 (11) , pp. 1950-1962. 10.1016/j.ymthe.2019.07.018

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Lipid nanoparticles have great potential for delivering nucleic acid-based therapeutics, but low efficiency limits their broad clinical translation. Differences in transfection capacity between in vitro models used for nanoparticle pre-clinical testing is poorly understood. To address this, using a clinically relevant lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivering mRNA we highlight specific endosomal characteristics in in vitro tumour models that impact on protein expression. A 30-cell line LNP-mRNA transfection screen identified three cells lines having low, medium and high transfection that correlated with protein expression when they were analysed in tumour models. Endocytic profiling of these cell lines identified major differences in endolysosomal morphology, localisation, endocytic uptake, trafficking, recycling, and endolysosomal pH, identified using a novel pH probe. High transfecting cells showed rapid LNP uptake and trafficking through an organised endocytic pathway to lysosomes or rapid exocytosis. Low transfecting cells demonstrated slower endosomal LNP trafficking to lysosomes, and defective endocytic organisation and acidification. Our data establishes that efficient LNP-mRNA transfection relies on an early and narrow endosomal escape window prior to lysosomal sequestration and/or exocytosis. Endocytic profiling should form an important pre-clinical evaluation step for nucleic acid delivery systems to inform model selection and guide delivery system design for improved clinical translation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Additional Information: Released with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND)
Publisher: Elsevier (Cell Press)
ISSN: 1525-0016
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 August 2019
Date of Acceptance: 26 July 2019
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2020 22:34

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