Journal of Nanobiotechnology (2021-05-01)

Multifunctional nanoplatforms as cascade-responsive drug-delivery carriers for effective synergistic chemo-photodynamic cancer treatment

  • Fan Li,
  • Yan Liang,
  • Miaochen Wang,
  • Xing Xu,
  • Fen Zhao,
  • Xu Wang,
  • Yong Sun,
  • Wantao Chen

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 19, no. 1
pp. 1 – 18


Read online

Abstract Synergistic chemo-photodynamic therapy has garnered attention in the field of cancer treatment. Here, a pH cascade-responsive micellar nanoplatform with nucleus-targeted ability, for effective synergistic chemo-photodynamic cancer treatment, was fabricated. In this micellar nanoplatform, 5-(4-carboxyphenyl)-10,15,20-triphenylporphyrin (Por), a photodynamic therapy (PDT) agent was utilized for carrying the novel anticancer drug GNA002 to construct a hydrophobic core, and cyclic RGD peptide (cRGD)-modified polyethylene glycol (PEG) (cRGD-PEG) connected the cell-penetrating peptide hexaarginine (R6) through a pH-responsive hydrazone bond (cRGD-PEG-N = CH-R6) to serve as a hydrophilic shell for increasing blood circulation time. After passively accumulating in tumor sites, the self-assembled GNA002-loaded nanoparticles were actively internalized into cancer cells via the cRGD ligands. Once phagocytosed by lysosomes, the acidity-triggered detachment of the cRGD-PEG shell led to the formation of R6-coated secondary nanoparticles and subsequent R6-mediated nucleus-targeted drug delivery. Combined with GNA002-induced nucleus-specific chemotherapy, reactive oxygen species produced by Por under 532-nm laser irradiation achieved a potent synergistic chemo-photodynamic cancer treatment. Moreover, our in vitro and in vivo anticancer investigations revealed high cancer-suppression efficacy of this ideal multifunctional nanoplatform, indicating that it could be a promising candidate for synergistic anticancer therapy.