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Synthesis, characterization, and in vitro evaluation of curcumin-loaded albumin nanoparticles surface-functionalized with glycyrrhetinic acid

Authors Li J, Chen T, Deng F, Wan J, Tang Y, Yuan P, Zhang L

Received 9 May 2015

Accepted for publication 16 July 2015

Published 27 August 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 5475—5487


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Jingjing Li,1 Tong Chen,2 Feng Deng,1 Jingyuan Wan,1 Yalan Tang,1 Pei Yuan,1 Liangke Zhang1

1Chongqing Medicine Engineering Research Center, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 2School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Yunnan Key Laboratory of Pharmacology for Natural Products, Kunming Medical University, Kunming, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: We have designed and developed curcumin (Ccn)-loaded albumin nanoparticles (BNPs) surface-functionalized with glycyrrhetinic acid (Ccn-BNP-GA) for GA receptor-mediated targeting. Ccn-BNP-GA was prepared by conjugating GA as a hepatoma cell-specific binding molecule onto the surface of BNPs. Ccn-BNP-GA showed a narrow distribution with an average size of 258.8±6.4 nm, a regularly spherical shape, an entrapment efficiency of 88.55%±5.54%, and drug loading of 25.30%±1.58%. The density of GA as the ligand conjugated to BNPs was 140.48±2.784 µg/g bovine serum albumin. Cytotoxicity assay results indicated that Ccn-BNP-GA was significantly more cytotoxic to HepG2 cells and in a concentration-dependent manner. Ccn-BNP-GA also appeared to be taken up to a greater extent by HepG2 cells than undecorated groups, which might be due to the high affinity of GA for GA receptors on the HepG2 cell surface. These cytotoxicity assay results were corroborated by analysis of cell apoptosis and the cell cycle. Further, Ccn-BNP-GA showed an approximately twofold higher rate of cell apoptosis than the other groups. Moreover, proliferation of HepG2 cells was arrested in G2/M phase based on cell cycle analysis. These results, which were supported by the GA receptor-mediated endocytosis mechanism, indicate that BNPs surface-functionalized with GA could be used in targeted cancer treatment with high efficacy, sufficient targeting, and reduced toxicity.

Keywords: glycyrrhetinic acid, albumin, nanoparticles, surface-functionalized, curcumin

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