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A pH-Responsive Charge-Reversal Drug Delivery System with Tumor-Specific Drug Release and ROS Generation for Cancer Therapy

Authors Xu C, Song R, Lu P, Chen J, Zhou Y, Shen G, Jiang M, Zhang W

Received 7 September 2019

Accepted for publication 10 December 2019

Published 8 January 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 65—80

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S230237

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Mian Wang


Chen Xu,1,2,* Rijin Song,1,* Pei Lu,1,* Jianchun Chen,2 Yongqiang Zhou,2 Gang Shen,2 Minjun Jiang,2 Wei Zhang1

1Department of Urology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Urology, Affiliated Wujiang Hospital of Nantong Univerisity, Suzhou 215200, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Wei Zhang Email weizhangsir@126.com
Minjun Jiang Email 463161688@qq.com

Introduction: Poor cell uptake and incomplete intracellular drug release are the two major challenges for polymeric prodrug-based drug delivery systems (PPDDSs) in cancer treatment.
Methods: Herein, a PPDDS with pH-induced surface charge-reversal and reactive oxygen species (ROS) amplification for ROS-triggered self-accelerating drug release was developed, which was formed by encapsulating a ROS generation agent (vitamin K3 (VK3)) in pH/ROS dual-sensitive polymetric prodrug (PEG-b-P(LL-g-TK-PTX)-(LL-g-DMA)) based micelle nanoparticles (denoted as PVD-NPs).
Results: The surface charge of the PVD-NPs can change from negative to positive for enhanced cell uptake in response to tumor extracellular acidity pH. After internalization by cancer cells, PVD-NPs demonstrate dual drug release in response to intracellular ROS-rich conditions. In addition, the released VK3 can produce ROS under the catalysis by NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase-1, which facilitates tumor-specific ROS amplification and drug release selectively in cancer cells to enhance chemotherapy.
Conclusion: Both in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that the PVD-NPs showed significant antitumor activity in human prostate cancer.

Keywords: charge-reversal, dual-responsive, ROS generation, cancer specific chemotherapy

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