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Tumor microenvironment dual-responsive core–shell nanoparticles with hyaluronic acid-shield for efficient co-delivery of doxorubicin and plasmid DNA

Authors Wang T, Yu X, Han L, Liu T, Liu Y, Zhang N

Received 9 February 2017

Accepted for publication 5 May 2017

Published 4 July 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 4773—4788


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Tianqi Wang, Xiaoyue Yu, Leiqiang Han, Tingxian Liu, Yongjun Liu, Na Zhang

Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: As the tumor microenvironment (TME) develops, it is critical to take the alterations of pH value, reduction and various enzymes of the TME into consideration when constructing the desirable co-delivery systems. Herein, TME pH and enzyme dual-responsive core–shell nanoparticles were prepared for the efficient co-delivery of chemotherapy drug and plasmid DNA (pDNA). A novel pH-responsive, positively charged drug loading material, doxorubicin (DOX)-4-hydrazinobenzoic acid (HBA)-polyethyleneimine (PEI) conjugate (DOX-HBA-PEI, DHP), was synthesized to fabricate positively charged polyion complex inner core DHP/DNA nanoparticles (DDN). Hyaluronic acid (HA) was an enzyme-responsive shell which could protect the core and enhance the co-delivery efficiency through CD44-mediated endocytosis. The HA-shielded pH and enzyme dual-responsive nanoparticles (HDDN) were spherical with narrow distribution. The particle size of HDDN was 148.3±3.88 nm and the zeta potential was changed to negative (-18.1±2.03 mV), which led to decreased cytotoxicity. The cumulative release of DOX from DHP at pH 5.0 (66.4%) was higher than that at pH 7.4 (30.1%), which indicated the pH sensitivity of DHP. The transfection efficiency of HDDN in 10% serum was equal to that in the absence of serum, while the transfection of DDN was significantly decreased in the presence of 10% serum. Furthermore, cellular uptake studies and co-localization assay showed that HDDN were internalized effectively through CD44-mediated endocytosis in the tumor cells. The efficient co-delivery of DOX and pEGFP was confirmed by fluorescent image taken by laser confocal microscope. It can be concluded that TME dual-responsive HA-shielded core–shell nanoparticles could be considered as a promising platform for the co-delivery of chemotherapy drug and pDNA.

Keywords: co-delivery, core–shell nanoparticles, hyaluronic acid, CD44 targeted, pH sensitive

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