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Multifunctionalized polyethyleneimine-based nanocarriers for gene and chemotherapeutic drug combination therapy through one-step assembly strategy

Authors Jiang D, Wang M, Wang T, Zhang B, Liu C, Zhang N

Received 31 May 2017

Accepted for publication 25 September 2017

Published 6 December 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 8681—8698


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Dandan Jiang,1,* Mingfang Wang,1,* Tianqi Wang,1 Bo Zhang,1 Chunxi Liu,2 Na Zhang1

1Department of Pharmaceutics, Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology (Ministry of Education), School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan, China; 2Pharmaceutical Department, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Gene therapy combined with chemotherapy to achieve synergistic therapeutic effects has been a hot topic in recent years. In this project, the human tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-encoding plasmid gene (TRAIL) and doxorubicin (Dox)-coloaded multifunctional nanocarrier was constructed based on the theory of circulation, accumulation, internalization, and release. Briefly, polyethyleneimine (PEI) was selected as skeleton material to synthesize PEI–polyethylene glycol (PEG)–TAT (PPT). Dox was conjugated to PEI using C6-succinimidyl 6-hydrazinonicotinate acetone hydrazone (C6-SANH), and a pH-sensitive Dox-PEI (DP) conjugate was obtained. Then, intracellular cationic pH-sensitive cellular assistant PPT and DP were mixed to condense TRAIL, and TRAIL–Dox coloaded PPT/DP/TRAIL (PDT) nanocarriers were obtained by one-step assembly. TRAIL was completely condensed by DP or PPT when mass ratios (DP/PPT to TRAIL) were up to 100:64, which indicated that DP and PPT could be mixed at any ratio for TRAIL condensation. The intracellular uptake rate of PDT was enhanced (P<0.05) when the contents of PPT in PPT+DP increased from 0 to 30%. Free Dox and TRAIL-loaded nanocarriers (PPT/C6-SANH-PEI/TRAIL [PCT]) were selected as controls to verify the synergistic antitumor effects of PDT. Compared with free TRAIL, TRAIL-protein expression was upregulated by PDT and PCT on Western blotting assays. The in vitro cytotoxicity of PDT was significantly enhanced compared to free Dox and PCT (P<0.01). Furthermore, murine PDT nanocarriers showed higher in vivo antitumor ability than both the Dox group (P<0.05) and the murine PCT group (P<0.05). These results indicated that the TRAIL + Dox synergistic antitumor effect could be achieved by PDT, which paves the way to gene–drug combination therapy for cancer.

Keywords: multifunctional, gene therapy, chemotherapy, TRAIL, one-step assembly strategy, CAIR theory

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