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Dimeric c(RGD) peptide conjugated nanostructured lipid carriers for efficient delivery of Gambogic acid to breast cancer

Authors Kebebe D, Wu Y, Zhang B, Yang J, Liu Y, Li X, Ma Z, Lu P, Liu Z, Li J

Received 21 January 2019

Accepted for publication 6 July 2019

Published 2 August 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 6179—6195

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S202424

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun


Dereje Kebebe,1–3,* Yumei Wu,1,2,* Bing Zhang,1,2 Jian Yang,1,2 Yuanyuan Liu,1,2 Xinyue Li,1,2 Zhe Ma,1,2 Peng Lu,1,2 Zhidong Liu,1,2 Jiawei Li1,2

1Tianjin State Key Laboratory of Modern Chinese Medicine, Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 301617, People’s Republic of China; 2Engineering Research Center of Modern Chinese Medicine Discovery and Preparation Technique, Ministry of Education, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 301617, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Institute of Health Sciences, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background and purpose: Gambogic acid (GA) is a natural compound that exhibited a promising multi-target antitumor activity against several types of cancer. However, the clinical application of this drug is limited due to its poor solubility and low tumor cell-specific delivery. In this study, the monomeric and dimeric Cyclo (Arg-Gly-Asp) c(RGD) tumor targeting peptides (c(RGDfK) and E-[c(RGDfK)2]) were used to modify GA loaded nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) to reduce the limitations associated with GA and improve its antitumor activity.
Methods: GA-NLC was prepared by emulsification and solvent evaporation methods and the surface of the NLC was conjugated with the c(RGD) peptides via an amide bond. The formulations were characterized for particle size, morphology and zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency and drug loading. The in-vitro cytotoxicity and cell uptake studies were conducted using 4T1 cell. Furthermore, the in-vivo antitumor activity and bio-distribution study were performed on female BALB/c nude mice.
Results: The c(RGD) peptides modified GA-NLC was successfully prepared with the particles size about 20 nm. The HPLC analysis, FT-IR and 1H-NMR spectra confirmed the successful conjugation of the peptides with the NLC. The in-vitro cytotoxicity study on 4T1 cells revealed that c(RGD) peptides modified GA-NLCs showed significantly higher cytotoxicity at 0.25 and 0.5 μg/mL as compared to unmodified GA-NLC. Furthermore, the cell uptake study demonstrated that better accumulation of E-[c(RGDfK)2] peptides modified NLC in 4T1 cell after 12 h incubation. Moreover, the in-vivo study showed that c(RGD)s functionalized GA-NLC exhibited better accumulation in tumor tissue and tumor growth inhibition. In contrast to the monomeric c(RGD) peptide, the dimeric c(RGD) peptide (E-[c(RGDfK)2]) conjugated GA-NLC showed the improved antitumor activity and tumor targeting ability of GA-NLC.
Conclusion: These data provide further support for the potential clinical applications of E-[c(RGDfK)2]-GA-NLC in breast cancer therapy.

Keywords: c(RGD) peptides, nanostructured lipid carriers, Gambogic acid, breast cancer, cell uptake, antitumor

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