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Novel tumor-targeting, self-assembling peptide nanofiber as a carrier for effective curcumin delivery

Authors Liu J, Liu J, Xu H, Zhang Y, Chu L, Liu Q, Song N, Yang C

Received 12 October 2013

Accepted for publication 28 November 2013

Published 24 December 2013 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 197—207

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S55875

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Jianfeng Liu, Jinjian Liu, Hongyan Xu, Yumin Zhang, Liping Chu, Qingfen Liu, Naling Song, Cuihong Yang

Tianjin Key Laboratory of Molecular Nuclear Medicine, Institute of Radiation Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Science and Peking Union Medical College, People's Republic of China

Abstract: The poor aqueous solubility and low bioavailability of curcumin restrict its clinical application for cancer treatment. In this study, a novel tumor-targeting nanofiber carrier was developed to improve the solubility and tumor-targeting ability of curcumin using a self-assembled Nap-GFFYG-RGD peptide. The morphologies of the peptide nanofiber and the curcumin-encapsulated nanofiber were visualized by transmission electron microscopy. The tumor-targeting activity of the curcumin-encapsulated Nap-GFFYG-RGD peptide nanofiber (f-RGD-Cur) was studied in vitro and in vivo, using Nap-GFFYG-RGE peptide nanofiber (f-RGE-Cur) as the control. Curcumin was encapsulated into the peptide nanofiber, which had a diameter of approximately 10–20 nm. Curcumin showed sustained-release behavior from the nanofibers in vitro. f-RGD-Cur showed much higher cellular uptake in αvβ3 integrin-positive HepG2 liver carcinoma cells than did non-targeted f-RGE-Cur, thereby leading to significantly higher cytotoxicity. Ex vivo studies further demonstrated that curcumin could accumulate markedly in mouse tumors after administration of f-RGD-Cur via the tail vein. These results indicate that Nap-GFFYG-RGD peptide self-assembled nanofibers are a promising hydrophobic drug delivery system for targeted treatment of cancer.

Keywords: nanofiber, tumor-targeting, self-assembling, curcumin, drug delivery

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