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Dual Receptor-Targeted and Redox-Sensitive Polymeric Micelles Self-Assembled from a Folic Acid-Hyaluronic Acid-SS-Vitamin E Succinate Polymer for Precise Cancer Therapy

Authors Yang Y, Li Y, Chen K, Zhang L, Qiao S, Tan G, Chen F, Pan W

Received 11 February 2020

Accepted for publication 8 April 2020

Published 24 April 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 2885—2902

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S249205

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun


Yue Yang,1 Yunjian Li,1 Kai Chen,1 Ling Zhang,2 Sen Qiao,1 Guoxin Tan,1 Fen Chen,1,3,4 Weisan Pan1

1School of Pharmacy, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang 110016, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Biotherapy, Cancer Research Institute, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang 110001, People’s Republic of China; 3Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for TCM Viscera-State Theory and Applications, Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shenyang 110847, People’s Republic of China; 4Zhejiang Jingxin Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, Zhejiang 312500, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Weisan Pan
School of Pharmacy, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang 110016, People’s Republic of China
Tel/ Fax +86 24 4352 0533
Email pppwwwsss@163.com
Fen Chen
Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for TCM Viscera-State Theory and Applications, Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shenyang 110847, People’s Republic of China
Tel/ Fax +86 24 3120 7125
Email chenfen1121@163.com

Purpose: Poor site-specific delivery and insufficient intracellular drug release in tumors are inherent disadvantages to successful chemotherapy. In this study, an extraordinary polymeric micelle nanoplatform was designed for the efficient delivery of paclitaxel (PTX) by combining dual receptor-mediated active targeting and stimuli response to intracellular reduction potential.
Methods: The dual-targeted redox-sensitive polymer, folic acid-hyaluronic acid-SS-vitamin E succinate (FHSV), was synthesized via an amidation reaction and characterized by 1H-NMR. Then, PTX-loaded FHSV micelles (PTX/FHSV) were prepared by a dialysis method. The physiochemical properties of the micelles were explored. Moreover, in vitro cytological experiments and in vivo animal studies were carried out to evaluate the antitumor efficacy of polymeric micelles.
Results: The PTX/FHSV micelles exhibited a uniform, near-spherical morphology (148.8 ± 1.4 nm) and a high drug loading capacity (11.28% ± 0.25). Triggered by the high concentration of glutathione, PTX/FHSV micelles could quickly release their loaded drug into the release medium. The in vitro cytological evaluations showed that, compared with Taxol or single receptor-targeted micelles, FHSV micelles yielded higher cellular uptake by the dual receptor-mediated endocytosis pathway, thus leading to significantly superior cytotoxicity and apoptosis in tumor cells but less cytotoxicity in normal cells. More importantly, in the in vivo antitumor experiments, PTX/FHSV micelles exhibited enhanced tumor accumulation and produced remarkable tumor growth inhibition with minimal systemic toxicity.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that this well-designed FHSV polymer has promising potential for use as a vehicle of chemotherapeutic drugs for precise cancer therapy.

Keywords: micelles, paclitaxel, dual-targeted, redox-sensitive, cytotoxicity, antitumor

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