bims-drudre Biomed News
on Targeted drug delivery and programmed release mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒04‒04
seventeen papers selected by
Ceren Kimna
Technical University of Munich

  1. Nat Nanotechnol. 2021 Apr 01.
      The poor transport of molecular and nanoscale agents through the blood-brain barrier together with tumour heterogeneity contribute to the dismal prognosis in patients with glioblastoma multiforme. Here, a biodegradable implant (μMESH) is engineered in the form of a micrometre-sized poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) mesh laid over a water-soluble poly(vinyl alcohol) layer. Upon poly(vinyl alcohol) dissolution, the flexible poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) mesh conforms to the resected tumour cavity as docetaxel-loaded nanomedicines and diclofenac molecules are continuously and directly released into the adjacent tumour bed. In orthotopic brain cancer models, generated with a conventional, reference cell line and patient-derived cells, a single μMESH application, carrying 0.75 mg kg-1 of docetaxel and diclofenac, abrogates disease recurrence up to eight months after tumour resection, with no appreciable adverse effects. Without tumour resection, the μMESH increases the median overall survival (∼30 d) as compared with the one-time intracranial deposition of docetaxel-loaded nanomedicines (15 d) or 10 cycles of systemically administered temozolomide (12 d). The μMESH modular structure, for the independent coloading of different molecules and nanomedicines, together with its mechanical flexibility, can be exploited to treat a variety of cancers, realizing patient-specific dosing and interventions.
  2. Nat Commun. 2021 Mar 31. 12(1): 1999
      Intratumoral immunotherapy is an emerging modality for the treatment of solid tumors. Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists have shown promise for eliciting immune responses, but systemic administration often results in the development of adverse side effects. Herein, we investigate whether localized delivery of the TLR agonist, resiquimod (R848), via platelet membrane-coated nanoparticles (PNP-R848) elicits antitumor responses. The membrane coating provides a means of enhancing interactions with the tumor microenvironment, thereby maximizing the activity of R848. Intratumoral administration of PNP-R848 strongly enhances local immune activation and leads to complete tumor regression in a colorectal tumor model, while providing protection against repeated tumor re-challenges. Moreover, treatment of an aggressive breast cancer model with intratumoral PNP-R848 delays tumor growth and inhibits lung metastasis. Our findings highlight the promise of locally delivering immunostimulatory payloads using biomimetic nanocarriers, which possess advantages such as enhanced biocompatibility and natural targeting affinities.
  3. Adv Mater. 2021 Mar 31. e2007910
      Certain chemotherapeutics and forms of ionizing radiation can induce immunogenic cell death (ICD). If there simultaneously exist immune adjuvants within the tumor, such antitumor immunity would be further amplified. However, as clinical chemo/radiotherapies are usually repeatedly given at low individual doses, it would be impractical to administrate immune adjuvants into tumors at each dose of chemo/radiotherapies. Thus, a smart hydrogel is developed that releases immune adjuvants in response to repeatedly applied chemo-/radiotherapies. Herein, alginate is conjugated with an adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-specific aptamer, which is hybridized with immunoadjuvant CpG oligonucleotide. Upon intratumoral injection, alginate-based hydrogel is formed in situ. Interestingly, low doses of oxaliplatin or X-rays, while inducing ICD of tumor cells, could trigger release of ATP, which competitively binds with ATP-specific aptamer to trigger CpG release. Therefore, the smart hydrogel could release the immune adjuvant synchronized with low-dose repeated chemo/radiotherapies, achieving remarkable synergistic responses in eliminating established tumors, as well as immune memory to reject re-challenged tumors. Moreover, repeated radiotherapies assisted by the smart hydrogel could inhibit distant tumor metastases, especially in combination with immune checkpoint blockade. The study presents a conceptually new strategy to boost cancer immunotherapy coherent with repeated low-dose chemo-/radiotherapies following a clinically relevant manner.
    Keywords:  adenosine triphosphate; aptamers; immune adjuvants; immunotherapy; smart hydrogels
  4. Adv Mater. 2021 Mar 31. e2006007
      Due to their ability to elicit a potent immune reaction with low systemic toxicity, cancer vaccines represent a promising strategy for treating tumors. Considerable effort has been directed toward improving the in vivo efficacy of cancer vaccines, with direct lymph node (LN) targeting being the most promising approach. Here, a click-chemistry-based active LN accumulation system (ALAS) is developed by surface modification of lymphatic endothelial cells with an azide group, which provide targets for dibenzocyclooctyne (DBCO)-modified liposomes, to improve the delivery of encapsulated antigen and adjuvant to LNs. When loading with OVA257-264 peptide and poly(I:C), the formulation elicits an enhanced CD8+ T cell response in vivo, resulting in a much more efficient therapeutic effect and prolonged median survival of mice. Compared to treatment with DBCO-conjugated liposomes (DL)-Ag/Ad without the azide targeting, the percent survival of ALAS-vaccine-treated mice improves by 100% over 60 days. Altogether, the findings indicate that the novel ALAS approach is a powerful strategy to deliver vaccine components to LNs for enhanced antitumor immunity.
    Keywords:  cancer vaccines; click chemistry; immunotherapy; lymph node targeting
  5. J Control Release. 2021 Mar 29. pii: S0168-3659(21)00149-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Targeted delivery of immunomodulatory molecules to the lymph nodes is an attractive means of improving the efficacy of anti-cancer immunotherapy. In this study, to improve the efficacy of PD-1 blockade-based therapy, nanocages were designed by surface engineering to decorate a programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) that is capable of binding against programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) and -ligand 2 (PD-L2). This nanocage-mediated multivalent interaction remarkably increases the binding affinity and improves the antagonistic activity compared to free soluble PD-1. In addition, with the desirable nanocage size for optimal tumor-draining lymph node (TDLN) targeting (approximately 20 nm), rapid draining and increased accumulation into the TDLNs were observed. Moreover, the interference of the PD-1/PD-L axis with ultra-high affinity in the tumor microenvironment (effector phase) and the TDLNs (cognitive phase) significantly enhances the dendritic cell-mediated tumor-specific T cell activation. This characteristic successfully inhibited tumor growth and induced complete tumor eradication in some mice. Thus, the delivery of immunomodulatory molecules with nanocages can be a highly efficient strategy to achieve stronger anti-tumor immunity.
    Keywords:  Drug delivery; Nanocage; PD-1/PD-L blockade; Surface engineering; Tumor-draining lymph node
  6. Adv Mater. 2021 Apr 01. e2100949
      The induced expansion of tumor-initiating cells (T-ICs) upon repeated exposure of tumors to chemotherapeutic drugs forms a major cause for chemoresistance and cancer metastasis. Here, a tumor-microenvironment-responsive hydrogel patch is designed to modulate the plasticity of T-ICs in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which is insensitive to hormone- and HER2-targeting. The on-site formation of the hydrogel network patches tumors in a chemoresistant TNBC murine model and senses intratumoral reactive oxygen species for linker cleavage and payload release. Patch-mediated inhibition of the histone demethylase lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) epigenetically regulates the switch of T-ICs from self-renewal to differentiation, rehabilitating their chemosensitivity. Moreover, the hydrogel patch enhances tumor immunogenicity and increases T-cell infiltration via epigenetic activation of innate immunity. A single-dose of the hydrogel patch harboring LSD1 inhibitor and chemotherapy agent efficiently suppresses tumor growth, postsurgical relapse, and metastasis. The superior efficacy against multidrug resistance further reveals the broad applicability of epigenetic remodeling hydrogel patches.
    Keywords:  epigenetic remodeling hydrogel patches; innate immunity; multidrug resistance; tumor-initiating cells
  7. Sci Adv. 2021 Mar;pii: eabf7311. [Epub ahead of print]7(14):
      Excessive carbohydrate intake is linked to the growing prevalence of diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and obesity. α-Glucosidases inhibitor, the only Food and Drug Administration-approved drug for limiting the absorption of polysaccharides and disaccharides, is ineffective for monosaccharides. Here, we develop a boronic acid-containing polymer nanocomplex (Nano-Poly-BA), absorbing all saccharides into nanocomplex with the diol/boronic acid molar ratio far above 1, to prevent saccharides' absorption in the gut. The orally administered Nano-Poly-BA is nonabsorbable and nontoxic. When tested against four kinds of carbohydrates and three real-world foods (coke, blueberry jam, and porridge), Nano-Poly-BA shows remarkable after-meal blood glucose reductions in wild-type, type 1, and type 2 diabetic mouse models. In a NAFLD mouse model induced by fructose, Nano-Poly-BA shows substantial reduction of hepatic lipogenesis. In short, the orally administered saccharide-sequestering polymer nanocomplex may help prediabetic, diabetic, overweight, and even healthy people to manage sugar intake.
  8. Cells. 2021 Mar 08. pii: 591. [Epub ahead of print]10(3):
      Small double-strand RNA (dsRNA) molecules can activate endogenous genes via an RNA-based promoter targeting mechanism. RNA activation (RNAa) is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism present in diverse eukaryotic organisms ranging from nematodes to humans. Small activating RNAs (saRNAs) involved in RNAa have been successfully used to activate gene expression in cultured cells, and thereby this emergent technique might allow us to develop various biotechnological applications, without the need to synthesize hazardous construct systems harboring exogenous DNA sequences. Accordingly, this thematic issue aims to provide insights into how RNAa cellular machinery can be harnessed to activate gene expression leading to a more effective clinical treatment of various diseases.
    Keywords:  cancer; cardiac development; microRNAs (miRNAs); molecular mechanism; neuronal development; small activating RNAs (saRNA); small interfering RNAs (siRNAs); therapeutics
  9. Cancer Lett. 2021 Mar 25. pii: S0304-3835(21)00132-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Fibroblasts in the tumor microenvironment, known as cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), promote the migration, invasion, and metastasis of cancer cells when they are activated through diverse processes, including post-transcriptional regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs). To identify the miRNAs that regulate CAF activation, we used NanoString to profile miRNA expression within normal mouse lung fibroblasts (LFs) and CAFs. Based on NanoString profiling, miR-196a was selected as a candidate that was up-regulated in CAFs. miR-196a-overexpressed LFs (LF-196a) promoted the migration and invasion of lung cancer cells in co-culture systems (Transwell migration and spheroid invasion assays). ANXA1 was confirmed as a direct target of miR-196a, and adding back ANXA1 to LF-196a restored the cancer cell invasion promoted by miR-196a. miR-196a increased CCL2 secretion in fibroblasts, and that was suppressed by ANXA1. Furthermore, blocking CCL2 impeded cancer spheroid invasion. In lung adenocarcinoma patients, high miR-196a expression was associated with poor prognosis. Collectively, our results suggest that CAF-specific miR-196a promotes lung cancer progression in the tumor microenvironment via ANXA1 and CCL2 and that miR-196a will be a good therapeutic target or biomarker in lung adenocarcinoma.
    Keywords:  Cancer-associated fibroblasts; Invasion; Lung adenocarcinomas; Tumor microenvironment; miR-196a
  10. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 616390
      Gastric cancer (GC) is a common and invasive malignancy, which lacks effective treatment and is the third main reason of cancer death. Metabolic reprogramming is one of the main reasons that GC is difficult to treat in various environments. Particularly, abnormal glycolytic activity is the most common way of metabolism reprogramming in cancer cells. Numerous studies have shown that microRNAs play important roles in reprogramming glucose metabolism. Here, we found a microRNA-miR-365a-3p, was significantly downregulated in GC according to bioinformatics analysis. Low expression of miR-365a-3p correlated with poor prognosis of GC patients. Overexpression of miR-365a-3p in GC cells significantly inhibited cell proliferation by inducing cell cycle arrest at G1 phase. Notably, miR-365a-3p induced downregulation of HELLS through binding to its 3' untranslated region (UTR). Additionally, we found that miR-365a-3p suppressed aerobic glycolysis by inhibiting HELLS/GLUT1 axis. Lastly, we shown that overexpression of miR-365a-3p significantly inhibited tumor growth in nude mice. Conversely, Reconstituted the expression of HELLS rescued the suppressive effects of miR-365a-3p. Our data collectively indicated that miR-365a-3p functioned as a tumor suppressor in GC through downregulating HELLS. Therefore, targeting of the novel miR-365a-3p/HELLS axis could be a potentially effective therapeutic approach for GC.
    Keywords:  GLUT1; HELLS; aerobic glycolysis; gastric cancer; miR-365a-3p
  11. J Control Release. 2021 Mar 30. pii: S0168-3659(21)00150-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Breast cancer metastasis and recurrence accounts for vast majority of breast cancer-induced mortality. Tumor microenvironment (TME) plays an important role at each step of metastasis, evasion of immunosurveillance, and therapeutic resistance. Consequently, TME-targeting alternatives to traditional therapies focused on breast cancer cells are gaining increasing attention. These new therapies involve the use of tumor cells, and key TME components or secreted bioactive molecules as therapeutic targets, alone or in combination. Recently, TME-related nanoparticles have been developed to deliver various agents, such as bioactive ingredients extracted from natural sources or chemotherapeutic agents, genes, proteins, small interfering RNAs, and vaccines; they have shown great therapeutic potential against breast cancer metastasis. Among various types of nanoparticles, biomimetic nanovesicles are a promising means of addressing the limitations of conventional nanocarriers. This review highlights various nanoparticles related to or mediated by TME according to the key TME components responsible for metastasis. Furthermore, TME-related biomimetic nanoparticles against breast cancer metastasis have garnered attention owing to their promising efficiency, especially in payload delivery and therapeutic action. Here, we summarize recent representative studies on nanoparticles related to cancer-associated fibroblasts, extracellular matrix, endothelial cells, angiogenesis, and immune cells, as well as advanced biomimetic nanoparticles. Future challenges and opportunities in the field are also discussed.
    Keywords:  Biomimetic nanoparticle; Breast cancer metastasis; Combinatorial therapy; Nano-delivery system; Tumor microenvironment
  12. Sci Adv. 2021 Mar;pii: eabf7194. [Epub ahead of print]7(14):
      Wearable electronic devices that can monitor physiological signals of the human body to provide biomedical information have been drawing extensive interests for sustainable personal health management. Here, we report a human pilot trial of a soft, smart contact lens and a skin-attachable therapeutic device for wireless monitoring and therapy of chronic ocular surface inflammation (OSI). As a diagnostic device, this smart contact lens enables real-time measurement of the concentration of matrix metalloproteinase-9, a biomarker for OSI, in tears using a graphene field-effect transistor. As a therapeutic device, we also fabricated a stretchable and transparent heat patch attachable on the human eyelid conformably. Both diagnostic and therapeutic devices can be incorporated using a smartphone for their wireless communications, thereby achieving instantaneous diagnosis of OSI and automated hyperthermia treatments. Furthermore, in vivo tests using live animals and human subjects confirm their good biocompatibility and reliability as a noninvasive, mobile health care solution.
  13. Acta Biomater. 2021 Mar 24. pii: S1742-7061(21)00193-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Glaucoma, a major cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, is associated with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) and progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) that undergo apoptosis. A mechanism for RGCs injury involves impairment of neurotrophic support and exogenous supply of neurotrophic factors has been shown to be beneficial. However, neurotrophic factors can have widespread effects on neuronal tissues, thus targeting neurotrophic support to injured neurons may be a better neuroprotective strategy. In this study, we have encapsulated LM22A-4, a small neurotrophic factor mimetic, into Annexin V-conjugated cubosomes (L4-ACs) for targeted delivery to injured RGCs in a model of acute IOP elevation, which is induced by acute IOP elevation. We have tested cubosomes formulations that encapsulate from 9% to 33% LM22A-4. Our data indicated that cubosomes encapsulating 9% and 17% LM22A-4 exhibited a mixture of Pn3m/Im3m cubic phase, whereas 23% and 33% showed a pure Im3m cubic phase. We found that 17% L4-ACs with Pn3m/Im3m symmetries showed better in-situ and in-vitro lipid membrane interactions than the 23% and 33% L4-ACs with Im3m symmetry. In vivo experiments showed that 17% L4-ACs targeted the posterior retina and the optic nerve head, which prevented RGCs loss and improved functional outcomes in a mouse model of acute IOP elevation. These results provide evidence that Annexin V-conjugated cubosomes-based LM22A-4 delivery may be a useful targeted approach to prevent the progression of RGCs loss in glaucoma. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: : Recent studies suggest that the therapy of effectively delivering neurotrophic factors to the injured retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) could promote the survival of RGCs in glaucoma. Our present work has for the first time used cubosomes as an active targeted delivery system and have successfully delivered a neuroprotective drug to the damaged RGCs in vivo. Our new cubosomal formulation can protect apoptotic cell death in vitro and in vivo, showing that cubosomes are a promising drug carrier system for ocular drug delivery and glaucoma treatment. We have further found that by controlling cubosomes in Pn3m phase we can facilitate delivery of neuroprotective drug through apoptotic membranes. This data, we believe, has important implications for future design and formulation of cubosomes for therapeutic applications.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Cubosomes; Intraocular pressure and experimental glaucoma model; LM22A-4; Neutron reflectometry; QCM-D; Retinal ganglion cell; SAXS
  14. Adv Funct Mater. 2020 Nov 25. pii: 1910442. [Epub ahead of print]30(48):
      Engineered tissue models comprise a variety of multiplexed ensembles in which combinations of epithelial, stromal, and immune cells give rise to physiologic function. Engineering spatiotemporal control of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions within these 3D multicellular tissues would represent a significant advance for tissue engineering. In this work, a new method, entitled CAMEO (Controlled Apoptosis in Multicellular tissues for Engineered Organogenesis) enables the non-invasive triggering of controlled apoptosis to eliminate genetically-engineered cells from a pre-established culture. Using this approach, the contribution of stromal cells to the phenotypic stability of primary human hepatocytes is examined. 3D hepatic microtissues, in which fibroblasts can enhance phenotypic stability and accelerate aggregation into spheroids, were found to rely only transiently on fibroblast interaction to support multiple axes of liver function, such as protein secretion and drug detoxification. Due to its modularity, CAMEO has the promise to be readily extendable to other applications that are tied to the complexity of 3D tissue biology, from understanding in vitro organoid models to building artificial tissue grafts.
    Keywords:  biomedical applications; hydrogels; tissue engineering
  15. Adv Funct Mater. 2021 Jan 27. pii: 2006918. [Epub ahead of print]31(5):
      Nanoparticle-based nucleic acid conjugates (NP-NACs) hold great promise for theragnostic (diagnostic and therapeutic) applications. However, several limitations have hindered the realization of their full potential in the clinical treatment of cancer and other diseases. In diagnosis, NP-NACs, combined with conventional optical sensing systems, have been applied for cancer detection in vitro, but low signal-to-noise ratios limit their broad in vivo applications. Meanwhile, the efficiency of NP-NAC-mediated cancer therapies has been limited through the adaptation of alternative pro-survival pathways in cancer cells. The recent emergence of personalized and precision medicine has outlined the importance of both accurate diagnosis and efficient therapeutics in a single platform. As such, we report the controlled assembly of hybrid graphene oxide/gold nanoparticle-based cancer-specific NACs (Au@GO NP-NACs) for multimodal imaging and combined therapeutics. Our developed Au@GO NP-NACs shows excellent surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-mediated live-cell cancer detection and multimodal synergistic cancer therapy through the use of photothermal, genetic, and chemotherapeutic strategies. Synergistic and selective killing of cancer cells were then demonstrated by using in vitro microfluidic models and nine different cancer cell lines by further incorporating near-infrared photothermal hyperthermia, a Topoisomerase II anti-cancer drug, and cancer targeting peptides. Moreover, with distinctive advantages of the Au@GO NP-NACs for cancer theragnostics, we further demonstrated precision cancer treatment through the detection of cancer cells in vivo using SERS followed by efficient ablation of the tumor. Therefore, our Au@GO NP-NACs could pave a new road for the advanced theragnostics of cancer as well as many other diseases.
    Keywords:  Graphene hybrid nanomaterials; Multimodal cancer theragnostics; Nanomedicine; Nanoparticle-based nucleic acid conjugates; Personalized medicine
  16. Nat Biomed Eng. 2021 Apr 01.
      Drug delivery technologies have enabled the development of many pharmaceutical products that improve patient health by enhancing the delivery of a therapeutic to its target site, minimizing off-target accumulation and facilitating patient compliance. As therapeutic modalities expanded beyond small molecules to include nucleic acids, peptides, proteins and antibodies, drug delivery technologies were adapted to address the challenges that emerged. In this Review Article, we discuss seminal approaches that led to the development of successful therapeutic products involving small molecules and macromolecules, identify three drug delivery paradigms that form the basis of contemporary drug delivery and discuss how they have aided the initial clinical successes of each class of therapeutic. We also outline how the paradigms will contribute to the delivery of live-cell therapies.
  17. Molecules. 2021 Mar 09. pii: 1481. [Epub ahead of print]26(5):
      Conditionally activated ("caged") oligonucleotides provide useful spatiotemporal control for studying dynamic biological processes, e.g., regulating in vivo gene expression or probing specific oligonucleotide targets. This review summarizes recent advances in caging strategies, which involve different stimuli in the activation step. Oligo cyclization is a particularly attractive caging strategy, which simplifies the probe design and affords oligo stabilization. Our laboratory developed an efficient synthesis for circular caged oligos, and a circular caged antisense DNA oligo was successfully applied in gene regulation. A second technology is Transcriptome In Vivo Analysis (TIVA), where caged oligos enable mRNA isolation from single cells in living tissue. We highlight our development of TIVA probes with improved caging stability. Finally, we illustrate the first protease-activated oligo probe, which was designed for caspase-3. This expands the toolkit for investigating the transcriptome under a specific physiologic condition (e.g., apoptosis), particularly in specimens where light activation is impractical.
    Keywords:  caged oligonucleotides; enzyme activation; transcriptome in vivo analysis