Cancer-specific drug-drug nanoparticles of pro-apoptotic and cathepsin B-cleavable peptide-conjugated doxorubicin for drug-resistant cancer therapy

Man Kyu Shim, Yujeong Moon, Suah Yang, Jinseong Kim, Hanhee Cho, Seungho Lim, Hong Yeol Yoon, Joon Kyung Seong, Kwangmeyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Chemotherapy has shown remarkable therapeutic efficacy for various types of cancer. However, drug resistance reduces the effectiveness and sensitivity of chemotherapy, leading treatment failure and cancer relapse in many clinical indications. Herein, we propose cancer-specific drug-drug nanoparticles (DD-NPs) that improve the therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapy against drug-resistant cancer. Cancer-specific and pro-apoptotic drug-drug conjugate was prepared by conjugating the pro-apoptotic peptide drug (SMAC; Ala-Val-Pro-Ile-Ala-Gln, AVPIAQ) and cathepsin B-cleavable peptide (Phe-Arg-Arg-Gly, FRRG) to a doxorubicin (DOX), resulting in SMAC-FRRG-DOX that allows self-assembled into nanoparticles. The resulting DD-NPs were specifically cleaved to pro-apoptotic SMAC and cytotoxic DOX only in cathepsin B-overexpressing cancer cells, inducing a synergy of the pro-apoptotic activity with the chemotherapy. In MCF-7 breast tumor-bearing mice, intravenously injected DD-NPs highly accumulated at targeted tumor tissues via enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, releasing SMAC and DOX, which showed a synergetic pro-apoptotic/chemotherapy. Furthermore, DD-NPs greatly suppressed tumor growth and improved overall survival in a metastatic lung cancer model. Collectively, these cancer-specific drug-drug nanoparticles may be a promising strategy to treat drug-resistant cancers with high cancer cell-specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120347
JournalBiomaterials
Volume261
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Keywords

  • Cancer nanomedicine
  • Drug resistance
  • Prodrug
  • Synergetic effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials

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