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A54 peptide-mediated functionalized gold nanocages for targeted delivery of DOX as a combinational photothermal-chemotherapy for liver cancer

Authors Huang S, Li C, Wang WP, Li HJ, Sun Z, Song C, Li B, Duan SF, Hu YR

Received 26 December 2016

Accepted for publication 19 May 2017

Published 20 July 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 5163—5176


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Shengnan Huang,1,* Chunming Li,2,* Weiping Wang,1 Huanjie Li,1 Zhi Sun,3 Chengzhi Song,4 Benyi Li,5 Shaofeng Duan,6,7 Yurong Hu1,8,9

1Key Laboratory of Targeting Therapy and Diagnosis for Critical Diseases, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Pharmacy, Chongqing Cancer Institute & Hospital & Cancer Center, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Pharmacy, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, People’s Republic of China; 4School of Physical Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, People’s Republic of China; 5Department of Urology and Cancer Center, the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA; 6College of Pharmacy, Henan University, Kaifeng, People’s Republic of China; 7Department of Orthopedics, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, People’s Republic of China; 8Key Laboratory of Key Technology of Drug Preparation, Ministry of Education, Institute of Drug Discovery & Development, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, People’s Republic of China; 9Collaborative Innovation Center of New Drug Research and Safety Evaluation, Zhengzhou, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: The combination of photothermal therapy and chemotherapy (photothermal–­chemotherapy) is a promising strategy for cancer therapy. Gold nanocages (AuNCs), with hollow and porous structures and unique optical properties, have become a rising star in the field of drug delivery. Here, we designed a novel targeted drug delivery system based on functionalized AuNCs and evaluated their therapeutic effects in vitro and in vivo. We then loaded doxorubicin into this promising system, designated as DHTPAuNCs consisting of hyaluronic acid-grafted and A54 peptide-targeted PEGylated AuNCs. Its formation was corroborated by ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. This delivery platform needed hyaluronidase to release encapsulated drugs, meanwhile the acidic pH and near-infrared irradiation could accelerate the release. In addition, the results of cellular uptake demonstrate that this system could bind specifically with BEL-7402 cells. In vitro, we evaluated therapeutic effects of the DHTPAuNCs in BEL-7402 cells by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide assay. Moreover, in BEL-7402 tumor-bearing nude mice, its therapy effect in vivo was also evaluated. As expected, DHTPAuNCs exhibited excellent therapeutic effect by photothermal–chemotherapy, both in vitro and in vivo. In short, DHTPAuNCs with low toxicity showed great potential as a drug delivery system for cancer therapy.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, nanocarriers, targeted delivery, chemotherapy, photothermal therapy

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