c-Jun N-terminal kinase 2 (JNK2) is primarily responsible for the oncogenic transformation of the transcription factor c-Jun. Expression of the proto-oncogene c-Jun progresses the cell cycle from G1 to S phase, but when its expression becomes awry it leads to uncontrolled proliferation and angiogenesis. Delivering a JNK2 siRNA (siJNK2) in tumor tissue was anticipated to reverse the condition with subsequent onset of apoptosis which predominantly requires an efficient delivering system capable of penetrating through the compact tumor mass. In the present study, it was demonstrated that polymannitol-based vector (PMGT) with inherent hyperosmotic properties was able to penetrate through and deliver the siJNK2 in the subcutaneous tumor of xenograft mice. Hyperosmotic activity of polymannitol was shown to account for the enhanced therapeutic delivery both in vitro and in vivo because of the induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) which stimulates caveolin-1 for caveolae-mediated endocytosis of the polyplexes. Further suppression of JNK2 and hence c-Jun expression led to the activation of caspase-9 to induce apoptosis and inhibition of tumor growth in xenograft mice model. The study exemplifies PMGT as an efficient vector for delivering therapeutic molecules in compact tumor tissue and suppression of JNK2 introduces a strategy to inhibit tumor progression.
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