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Decoration of pH-sensitive copolymer micelles with tumor-specific peptide for enhanced cellular uptake of doxorubicin

Authors Chen Q, Long MM, Qiu LP, Zhu MQ, Li Z, Qiao MX, Hu HY, Zhao XL, Chen DW

Received 3 May 2016

Accepted for publication 13 July 2016

Published 18 October 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 5415—5427


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Qing Chen,1,* Miaomiao Long,2,* Lipeng Qiu,3 Mengqin Zhu,3 Zhen Li,1 Mingxi Qiao,1 Haiyang Hu,1 Xiuli Zhao,1 Dawei Chen1

1Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang, 2Department of Research and Development, Nanjing Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd, Nanjing, 3Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: To improve the targeting efficacy of hyaluronic acid (HA)-based micelles, pH-sensitive mixed micelles based on HA-g-poly(L-histidine) (PHis) and d-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 2000 copolymers were prepared and decorated with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2) peptide, a tumor cell-specific peptide ligand, on their surface. The doxorubicin-loaded micelles (HA-PHis/peptide–d-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 2000 mixed micelles [PHTM]) were characterized to have a unimodal size distribution and pH-dependent drug release pattern. In vitro tumor targeting studies demonstrated that PHTM exhibited the pronounced cytotoxicity and efficient internalization in MDA-MB-231 cells overexpressing CD44 and Her2 receptors. In vivo investigation into micelles in MDA-MB-231 tumor-bearing mice confirmed that PTHM could reach the tumor site more effectively and exert excellent tumor killing activity. In general, Her2 peptide decoration can enhance the selective cytotoxicity and antitumor activity of HA-based micelles.

Keywords: Her2 peptide, hyaluronic acid, poly(L-histidine), targeted delivery, antitumor efficacy

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