Targeted delivery of doxorubicin-utilizing chitosan nanoparticles surface-functionalized with anti-Her2 trastuzumab
Parisa Yousefpour1, Fatemeh Atyabi2, Ebrahim Vasheghani-Farahani3, Ali-Akbar Mousavi Movahedi1, Rassoul Dinarvand2
1Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, University of Tehran, 2Nanotechnology Research Centre, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 3Biotechnology Group, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Background: Targeting drugs to their sites of action to overcome the systemic side effects associated with most antineoplastic agents is still a major challenge in pharmaceutical research. In this study, the monoclonal antibody, trastuzumab, was used as a targeting agent in nanoparticles carrying the antitumor drug, doxorubicin, specifically to its site of action.
Methods: Chitosan-doxorubicin conjugation was carried out using succinic anhydride as a crosslinker. Trastuzumab was conjugated to self-assembled chitosan-doxorubin conjugate (CS-DOX) nanoparticles (particle size, 200 nm) via thiolation of lysine residues and subsequent linking of the resulted thiols to chitosan. Conjugation was confirmed by gel permeation chromatography, differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies. Dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and zeta potential determination were used to characterize the nanoparticles.
Results: CS-DOX conjugated nanoparticles had a spherical shape and smooth surface with a narrow size distribution and core-shell structure. Increasing the ratio of doxorubicin to chitosan in the conjugation reaction gave rise to a higher doxorubicin content but lower conjugation efficiency. Trastuzumab-decorated nanoparticles (CS-DOX-mAb) contained 47 µg/mg doxorubicin and 33.5 µg/mg trastuzumab. Binding of trastuzumab to the nanoparticles was further probed thermodynamically by isothermal titration calorimetry. Fluorescence microscopy demonstrated enhanced and selective uptake of CS-DOX-mAb by Her2+ cancer cells compared with nontargeted CS-DOX nanoparticles and free drug.
Conclusion: Antibody-conjugated nanoparticles were shown to discriminate between Her2+ and Her2- cells, and thus have the potential to be used in active targeted drug delivery, with reduction of drug side effects in Her2+ breast and ovarian cancers.
Keywords: chitosan, doxorubicin, self-assembled nanoparticles, active targeting, trastuzumab
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