Bioengineering bacterial outer membrane vesicles as delivery system for RNA therapeutics targeted to lung epithelial cytosols

Eleni Eftychiou, Nicola Brown, William Cheung, Giorgio Fois, Manfred Frick, Sterghios Moschos

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Intact epithelia lining the airways and alveoli in the lung are essential to maintain lung function. Structural or functional damage of epithelial cells leads in severe diseases, including COPD/emphysema, ibrosis or ALI/ARDS. This central role of epithelia in pulmonary diseases identifies these cells as primary candidates for targeted therapy. With the exception of surface-expressed molecules, however, targeting intracellular components is severely restricted due to poor delivery. We aim to overcome this obstacle using topically administered, bioengineered, biocompatible bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) as recombinant drug delivery systems for novel biopharmaceuticals. Engineering recombinant surface expression of eukaryotic receptor ligands in ClearColi®, a commercial E.coli BL21 (DE3) strain deficient in lipopolysaccharide production, we have used red fluorescent protein reporters to track OMV loading, transgene expression, and eukaryotic cell trafficking. We demonstrate statistically significant differences in the levels of over 700 proteins between differentially engineered and purified OMV preps with additional differences in transcriptome and lipidome consistency. We also characterised visual and particle size differences observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA). Here we report early bioadhesion and culture of re-differentiated lung epithelia. This project aims to bridge the biotechnological gap in the intracellular biopharmaceutics drug delivery challenge for respiratory epithelia through highly controlled, and scalable bio-nanotechnology process. If successful, our work will unlock intracellular imaging and therapeutics research for respiratory diseases with a significant epithelial component, paving the way for other targeting ligands and potentially non-respiratory indications. cellular uptake results in A549 culture as well as air-liquid interface.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2020
EventASGCT 23rd Annual Meeting -
Duration: 12 May 202012 May 2020


ConferenceASGCT 23rd Annual Meeting
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