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Nucleolin-Targeting AS1411 Aptamer-Modified Micelle for the Co-Delivery of Doxorubicin and miR-519c to Improve the Therapeutic Efficacy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Treatment

Authors Liang X, Wang Y, Shi H, Dong M, Han H, Li Q

Received 29 January 2021

Accepted for publication 15 March 2021

Published 30 March 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 2569—2584


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yan Shen

Xiao Liang,* Yudi Wang,* Hui Shi, Mengmeng Dong, Haobo Han, Quanshun Li

Key Laboratory for Molecular Enzymology and Engineering of Ministry of Education, School of Life Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, 130012, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Quanshun Li; Haobo Han Tel/ Fax +86-431-85155200
Email [email protected]; [email protected]

Background: Multidrug resistance (MDR) has emerged to be a major hindrance in cancer therapy, which contributes to the reduced sensitivity of cancer cells toward chemotherapeutic drugs mainly owing to the over-expression of drug efflux transporters. The combination of gene therapy and chemotherapy has been considered as a potential approach to improve the anti-cancer efficacy by reversing the MDR effect.
Materials and Methods: The AS1411 aptamer-functionalized micelles were constructed through an emulsion/solvent evaporation strategy for the simultaneous co-delivery of doxorubicin and miR-519c. The therapeutic efficacy and related mechanism of micelles were explored based on the in vitro and in vivo active targeting ability and the suppression of MDR, using hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2 as a model.
Results: The micelle was demonstrated to possess favorable cellular uptake and tumor penetration ability by specifically recognizing the nucleolin in an AS1411 aptamer-dependent manner. Further, the intracellular accumulation of doxorubicin was significantly improved due to the suppression of ABCG2-mediated drug efflux by miR-519c, resulting in the efficient inhibition of tumor growth.
Conclusion: The micelle-mediated co-delivery of doxorubicin and miR-519c provided a promising strategy to obtain ideal anti-cancer efficacy through the active targeting function and the reversion of MDR.

Keywords: micelle, aptamer, nucleolin, multidrug resistance, tumor targeting

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