Thiolated chitosan nanoparticles as a delivery system for antisense therapy: evaluation against EGFR in T47D breast cancer cells
Fatemeh Talaei1, Ebrahim Azizi2, Rassoul Dinarvand3, Fatemeh Atyabi3
1Novel Drug Delivery Systems Lab, 2Molecular Research Lab, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 3Nanotechnology Research Centre, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Abstract: Thiolated chitosan has high transfection and mucoadhesive properties. We investigated the potential of two recently synthesized polymers: NAC-C (N-acetyl cysteine-chitosan) and NAP-C (N-acetyl penicillamine-chitosan) in anticancer drug delivery targeting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Doxorubicin (DOX) and antisense oligonucleotide (ASOND)-loaded polymer nanoparticles were prepared in water by a gelation process. Particle characterization, drug loading, and drug release were evaluated. To verify drug delivery efficiency in vitro experiments on a breast cancer cell line (T47D) were performed. EGFR gene and protein expression was analyzed by real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting, respectively. A loading percentage of 63% ± 5% for ASOND and 70% ± 5% for DOX was achieved. Drug release data after 15 hours showed that ASOND and DOX were completely released from chitosan-based particles while a lower and more sustained release of only 22% ± 8% was measured for thiolated particles. In a cytosol simulated release medium/reducing environment, such as found intracellularly, polymer-based nanoparticles dissociated, liberating approximately 50% of both active substances within 7 hours. ASOND-loaded polymer nanoparticles had higher stability and high mucoadhesive properties. The ASOND-loaded thiolated particles significantly suppressed EGFR gene expression in T47D cells compared with ASOND-loaded chitosan particles and downregulated EGFR protein expression in cells. This study could facilitate future investigations into the functionality of NAP-C and NAC-C polymers as an efficient ASOND delivery system in vitro and in vivo.
Keywords: thiolated chitosan, nanoparticles, doxorubicin, antisense oligonucleotide, epidermal growth factor receptor, T47D breast cancer cells, controlled release
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