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Tumor-targeting, pH-sensitive nanoparticles for docetaxel delivery to drug-resistant cancer cells

Authors Tran TH, Ramasamy T, Choi JY, Nguyen H, Pham T, Jeong J, Ku SK, Choi H, Yong CS, Kim JO

Received 30 May 2015

Accepted for publication 8 July 2015

Published 21 August 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 5249—5262


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Govarthanan Muthusamy

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster

Tuan Hiep Tran,1 Thiruganesh Ramasamy,1 Ju Yeon Choi,1 Hanh Thuy Nguyen,1 Thanh Tung Pham,1 Jee-Heon Jeong,1 Sae Kwang Ku,2 Han-Gon Choi,3 Chul Soon Yong,1 Jong Oh Kim1

College of Pharmacy, Yeungnam University, Dae-Dong, 2College of Korean Medicine, Daegu Haany University, Gyeongsan, 3College of Pharmacy, Hanyang University, Hanyangdaehak-ro, Sangnok-gu, Ansan, South Korea

Abstract: The attachment of polyethylene glycol (PEG) increases the circulation time of drug-containing nanoparticles; however, this also negatively affects cellular uptake. To overcome this problem, unique lipid polymer hybrid (LPH) nanoparticles were developed with a pH-responsive PEG layer that detached prior to cell uptake. Docetaxel (DTX) was incorporated into the lipid core of the nanoparticles, which was then shielded with the pH-responsive block co-polymer polyethylene glycol-b-polyaspartic acid (PEG-b-PAsp) using a modified emulsion method. The optimized LPH nanoparticles were ~200 nm and had a narrow size distribution. Drug release from DTX-loaded LPH (DTX-LPH) nanoparticles was pH-sensitive, which is beneficial for tumor targeting. More importantly, DTX-LPH nanoparticles were able to effectively induce apoptosis in cancer cells. The negative surface charge and PEG shell of vehicle remarkably enhanced the blood circulation and physiological activity of DTX-LPH nanoparticles compared with that of free DTX. The nanoparticles were also found to reduce the size of tumors in tumor-bearing xenograft mice. The in vivo anticancer effect of DTX-LPH nanoparticles was further confirmed by the elevated levels of caspase-3 and poly ADP ribose polymerase found in the tumors after treatment. Thus, the results suggest that this novel LPH system could be an effective new treatment for cancer.

Keywords: docetaxel, polyaspartic acid, drug delivery systems, antitumor, pH-sensitive

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