Epidermal SR-A Complexes Are Lipid Raft Based and Promote Nucleic Acid Nanoparticle Uptake

Qian Song, Xiao Qi Wang, Thomas R. Holmes, Michael Bonkowski, Eric W. Roth, Adam Ponedal, Chad Mirkin, Amy S. Paller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Scavenger receptors clear pathogens, transport lipid, and mediate polyanionic ligand uptake in macrophages, but their expression and role in the skin are poorly understood. Although the epidermal barrier typically excludes nucleic acid entry, topically applied, spherically arranged oligonucleotide nanoconjugates (spherical nucleic acids [SNAs]) penetrate mouse skin, three-dimensional (3D) skin equivalents, and human skin. We explored the mechanism of SNA uptake in normal human epidermal keratinocytes and 3D skin equivalents. Normal human epidermal keratinocytes and 3D raft treatment with SR-A inhibitors reduced SNA uptake by >80%. The human epidermis expresses SR-As SCARA3 and, to a lesser extent, MARCO. Simultaneous lentiviral knockdown of SCARA3 and MARCO reduced SNA uptake in normal human epidermal keratinocytes and 3D rafts after topical application, affirming a role for SR-As in SNA uptake and 3D raft penetration. Incubation of normal human epidermal keratinocytes at 4oC or with sodium azide prevented SNA uptake, suggesting active endocytosis. Endocytosis inhibitors, immunofluorescence, immunoprecipitation, and knockdown studies localized functional SR-As to FLOT-1-containing lipid rafts throughout the epidermis and CAV-1-containing rafts only in the upper epidermis. These studies suggest a central role for SR-A complexes in epidermal lipid rafts in mediating the uptake of nucleic acid‒laden nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology

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