Autophagy inhibitor Vacuolin-1 interferes with lipid-based small interference RNA delivery

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-434
Journal / PublicationBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Online published4 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2019


Autophagy and endocytosis are important pathways regulating macromolecule recycling and regeneration. Small molecule inhibitors are utilized to modulate these pathways and to treat autophagy-related diseases. Vacuolin-1 is a small molecule that can potently and reversibly inhibit autophagy by activating Rab5. In addition, Vacuolin-1 can be applied to inhibit exocytosis in a variety of cell types. Here we report that Vacuolin-1 significantly reduces small interference RNA (siRNA)-mediated gene silencing delivered by liposome transfection reagent or lipid nanoparticles in Hela cells. Vacuolin-1 exhibits the strongest inhibition effect among a few autophagy inhibitors including Chloroquine, Wortmannin, and Bafilomycin A1. We found that siRNAs are over-accumulated intracellularly and colocalized with a late endosome marker Rab7 in Vacuolin-1 treated cells, suggesting Vacuolin-1 inhibits the cytoplasmic release of lipid siRNA complexes from late endosomes. We propose that Vacuolin-1 could potentially be used to control the effects of lipid nanoparticle-based RNAi and gene therapy drugs.

Research Area(s)

  • Autophagy, Lipid nanoparticle, siRNA, Vacuolin-1