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Improving aqueous solubility and antitumor effects by nanosized gambogic acid-mPEG2000 micelles

Authors Cai LL, Qiu N, Xiang ML, Tong RS, Yan JF, He L, Shi JY, Chen T, Wen JL, Wang WW, Chen LJ

Received 5 September 2013

Accepted for publication 3 November 2013

Published 27 December 2013 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 243—255

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S54050

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Lulu Cai,1,* Neng Qiu,2,* Mingli Xiang,3,* Rongsheng Tong,1 Junfeng Yan,1 Lin He,1 Jianyou Shi,1 Tao Chen,4 Jiaolin Wen,3 Wenwen Wang,3 Lijuan Chen3

1Department of Pharmacy, Sichuan Academy of Medical Science and Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, 2College of Materials and Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chengdu University of Technology, 3State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People's Republic of China; 4Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada

*These authors contributed equally to this paper

Abstract: The clinical application of gambogic acid, a natural component with promising antitumor activity, is limited due to its extremely poor aqueous solubility, short half-life in blood, and severe systemic toxicity. To solve these problems, an amphiphilic polymer-drug conjugate was prepared by attachment of low molecular weight (ie, 2 kDa) methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether (mPEG) to gambogic acid (GA-mPEG2000) through an ester linkage and characterized by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance. The GA-mPEG2000 conjugates self-assembled to form nanosized micelles, with mean diameters of less than 50 nm, and a very narrow particle size distribution. The properties of the GA-mPEG2000 micelles, including morphology, stability, molecular modeling, and drug release profile, were evaluated. MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) tests demonstrated that the GA-mPEG2000 micelle formulation had obvious cytotoxicity to tumor cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Further, GA-mPEG2000 micelles were effective in inhibiting tumor growth and prolonged survival in subcutaneous B16-F10 and C26 tumor models. Our findings suggest that GA-mPEG2000 micelles may have promising applications in tumor therapy.

Keywords: gambogic acid, poly(ethylene glycol)-drug conjugate, micelle, antitumor, toxicity

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