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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 217365, 7 pages
Research Article

Transferrin-Conjugated SNALPs Encapsulating 2′-O-Methylated miR-34a for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma

1Department of Pharmacy, Federico II University of Naples, Via Domenico Montesano 49, 80131 Naples, Italy
2Department of Medical Oncology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Magna Graecia University and T. Campanella Cancer Center, Salvatore Venuta Campus, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
3Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and General Pathology, Second University of Naples, 80138 Naples, Italy

Received 29 October 2013; Accepted 26 December 2013; Published 13 February 2014

Academic Editor: Maria Chiara Maiuri

Copyright © 2014 Immacolata Scognamiglio et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Stable nucleic acid lipid vesicles (SNALPs) encapsulating miR-34a to treat multiple myeloma (MM) were developed. Wild type or completely 2′-O-methylated (OMet) MiR-34a was used in this study. Moreover, SNALPs were conjugated with transferrin (Tf) in order to target MM cells overexpressing transferrin receptors (TfRs). The type of miR-34a chemical backbone did not significantly affect the characteristics of SNALPs in terms of mean size, polydispersity index, and zeta potential, while the encapsulation of an OMet miR-34a resulted in a significant increase of miRNA encapsulation into the SNALPs. On the other hand, the chemical conjugation of SNALPs with Tf resulted in a significant decrease of the zeta potential, while size characteristics and miR-34a encapsulation into SNALPs were not significantly affected. In an experimental model of MM, all the animals treated with SNALPs encapsulating miR-34a showed a significant inhibition of the tumor growth. However, the use of SNALPs conjugated with Tf and encapsulating OMet miR-34a resulted in the highest increase of mice survival. These results may represent the proof of concept for the use of SNALPs encapsulating miR-34a for the treatment of MM.