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Selective inhibition of MG-63 osteosarcoma cell proliferation induced by curcumin-loaded self-assembled arginine-rich-RGD nanospheres

Authors Chang R, Sun L, Webster T

Received 5 December 2014

Accepted for publication 23 January 2015

Published 5 May 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 3351—3365


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Run Chang,1 Linlin Sun,1 Thomas J Webster1,2

1Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 2Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Abstract: Osteosarcoma is the most frequent primary malignant form of bone cancer, comprising 30% of all bone cancer cases. The objective of this in vitro study was to develop a treatment against osteosarcoma with higher selectivity toward osteosarcoma cells and lower cytotoxicity toward normal healthy osteoblast cells. Curcumin (or diferuloylmethane) has been found to have antioxidant and anticancer effects by multiple cellular pathways. However, it has lower water solubility and a higher degradation rate in alkaline conditions. In this study, the amphiphilic peptide C18GR7RGDS was used as a curcumin carrier in aqueous solution. This peptide contains a hydrophobic aliphatic tail group leading to their self-assembly by hydrophobic interactions, as well as a hydrophilic head group composed of an arginine-rich and an arginine-glycine-aspartic acid structure. Through characterization by transmission electron microscopy, self-assembled structures of spherical amphiphilic nanoparticles (APNPs) with diameters of 10–20 nm in water and phosphate-buffered saline were observed, but this structure dissociated when the pH value was reduced to 4. Using a method of codissolution with acetic acid and dialysis tubing, the solubility of curcumin was enhanced and a homogeneous solution was formed in the presence of APNPs. Successful encapsulation of curcumin in APNPs was then confirmed by Fourier transform infrared and X-ray diffraction analyses. The cytotoxicity and cellular uptake of the APNP/curcumin complexes on both osteosarcoma and normal osteoblast cell lines were also evaluated by methyl-thiazolyl-tetrazolium assays and confocal fluorescence microscopy. The results showed that the curcumin-loaded APNPs had significant selective cytotoxicity against MG-63 osteosarcoma cells when compared with normal osteoblasts. We have demonstrated for the first time that APNPs can encapsulate hydrophobic curcumin in their hydrophobic cores, and curcumin-loaded APNPs could be an innovative treatment for the selective inhibition of osteosarcoma cells.

Keywords: osteosarcoma, selective inhibition, curcumin, arginine-rich, arginine-glycine-aspartic acid, self-assembly

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