bims-drudre Biomed News
on Targeted drug delivery and programmed release mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒05‒23
twelve papers selected by
Ceren Kimna
Technical University of Munich

  1. Nature. 2021 May;593(7859): 429-434
      Gene-editing technologies, which include the CRISPR-Cas nucleases1-3 and CRISPR base editors4,5, have the potential to permanently modify disease-causing genes in patients6. The demonstration of durable editing in target organs of nonhuman primates is a key step before in vivo administration of gene editors to patients in clinical trials. Here we demonstrate that CRISPR base editors that are delivered in vivo using lipid nanoparticles can efficiently and precisely modify disease-related genes in living cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). We observed a near-complete knockdown of PCSK9 in the liver after a single infusion of lipid nanoparticles, with concomitant reductions in blood levels of PCSK9 and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol of approximately 90% and about 60%, respectively; all of these changes remained stable for at least 8 months after a single-dose treatment. In addition to supporting a 'once-and-done' approach to the reduction of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and the treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (the leading cause of death worldwide7), our results provide a proof-of-concept for how CRISPR base editors can be productively applied to make precise single-nucleotide changes in therapeutic target genes in the liver, and potentially in other organs.
  2. Adv Mater. 2021 May 17. e2100746
      Current therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer's disease (AD) treatments mainly focus on β-amyloid (Aβ) targeting. However, such therapeutic strategies have limited clinical outcomes due to the chronic and irreversible impairment of the nervous system in the late stage of AD. Recently, inflammatory responses, manifested in oxidative stress and glial cell activation, have been reported as hallmarks in the early stages of AD. Based on the crosstalk between inflammatory response and brain cells, a reactive oxygen species (ROS)-responsive dendrimer-peptide conjugate (APBP) is devised to target the AD microenvironment and inhibit inflammatory responses at an early stage. With the modification of the targeting peptide, this nanoconjugate can efficiently deliver peptides to the infected regions and restore the antioxidant ability of neurons by activating the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 signaling pathway. Moreover, this multi-target strategy exhibits a synergistic function of ROS scavenging, promoting Aβ phagocytosis, and normalizing the glial cell phenotype. As a result, the nanoconjugate can reduce ROS level, decrease Aβ burden, alleviate glial cell activation, and eventually enhance cognitive functions in APPswe/PSEN1dE9 model mice. These results indicate that APBP can be a promising candidate for the multi-target treatment of AD.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer's disease; antioxidant ability; glial cell activation; inflammatory responses; multi-target treatments; synergistic function
  3. Nano Lett. 2021 May 17.
      The high demand for acute kidney injury (AKI) therapy calls the development of multifunctional nanomedicine for renal management with programmable pharmacokinetics. Here, we developed a renal-accumulating DNA nanodevice with exclusive kidney retention for longitudinal protection of AKI in different stages in a renal ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) model. Due to the prolonged kidney retention time (>12 h), the ROS-sensitive nucleic acids of the nanodevice could effectively alleviate oxidative stress by scavenging ROS in stage I, and then the anticomplement component 5a (aC5a) aptamer loaded nanodevice could sequentially suppress the inflammatory responses by blocking C5a in stage II, which is directly related to the cytokine storm. This sequential therapy provides durable and pathogenic treatment of kidney dysfunction based on successive pathophysiological events induced by I/R, which holds great promise for renal management and the suppression of the cytokine storm in more broad settings including COVID-19.
    Keywords:  DNA nanotechnology; framework nucleic acids; nanodevice; renal ischemia-reperfusion injury; sequential therapy
  4. Adv Mater. 2021 May 19. e2100106
      A major challenge in vaccine delivery is to achieve robust lymph-node (LN) accumulation, which can capitalize on concentrated immunocytes and cytokines in LNs to stimulate the onset and persistence of adaptive immune responses. Previous attempts at developing vaccine delivery systems have focused on the sizes, charges, or surface ligands but not on their deformability. In fact, the LN homing of antigen-presenting cells depends on deformability to pass through the cellular gaps. Herein, the deformability of albumin-stabilized emulsions is engineered. Owing to self-adaptive deformability, the droplets (≈330 nm) can attach to and deform between cells and adjust their sizes to pass through the endothelial gaps (20-100 nm), favoring direct LN transfer (intercellular pathway). Additionally, owing to relatively large sizes, some emulsions can be retained at the administration sites for potent antigen uptake and activation of APCs as well as LN-targeted delivery of vaccines (intracellular pathway). Compared with solid particles, the dual LN transfer strategy evidently enhances antigen accumulation and activation of LN drainage, potently stimulates cellular immune responses, and increases the survival rate of tumor-bearing mice. Thus, the deformability of albumin-stabilized droplets may offer an efficient strategy for potent LN targeting and enhanced vaccinations.
    Keywords:  albumin-stabilized emulsions; deformability; lymph node targeting; vaccine delivery systems; vaccines
  5. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 May 25. pii: e2017925118. [Epub ahead of print]118(21):
      The goal of cancer-drug delivery is to achieve high levels of therapeutics within tumors with minimal systemic exposure that could cause toxicity. Producing biologics directly in situ where they diffuse and act locally is an attractive alternative to direct administration of recombinant therapeutics, as secretion by the tumor itself provides high local concentrations that act in a paracrine fashion continuously over an extended duration (paracrine delivery). We have engineered a SHielded, REtargeted ADenovirus (SHREAD) gene therapy platform that targets specific cells based on chosen surface markers and converts them into biofactories secreting therapeutics. In a proof of concept, a clinically approved antibody is delivered to orthotopic tumors in a model system in which precise biodistribution can be determined using tissue clearing with passive CLARITY technique (PACT) with high-resolution three-dimensional imaging and feature quantification within the tumors made transparent. We demonstrate high levels of tumor cell-specific transduction and significant and durable antibody production. PACT gives a localized quantification of the secreted therapeutic and allows us to directly observe enhanced pore formation in the tumor and destruction of the intact vasculature. In situ production of the antibody led to an 1,800-fold enhanced tumor-to-serum antibody concentration ratio compared to direct administration. Our detailed biochemical and microscopic analyses thus show that paracrine delivery with SHREAD could enable the use of highly potent therapeutic combinations, including those with systemic toxicity, to reach adequate therapeutic windows.
    Keywords:  3D reconstruction; PACT tissue clearing; adenovirus; cancer therapy; gene therapy
  6. Nat Commun. 2021 05 17. 12(1): 2875
      Polymeric drug carriers are widely used for providing temporal and/or spatial control of drug delivery, with corticosteroids being one class of drugs that have benefitted from their use for the treatment of inflammatory-mediated conditions. However, these polymer-based systems often have limited drug-loading capacity, suboptimal release kinetics, and/or promote adverse inflammatory responses. This manuscript investigates and describes a strategy for achieving controlled delivery of corticosteroids, based on a discovery that low molecular weight corticosteroid dimers can be processed into drug delivery implant materials using a broad range of established fabrication methods, without the use of polymers or excipients. These implants undergo surface erosion, achieving tightly controlled and reproducible drug release kinetics in vitro. As an example, when used as ocular implants in rats, a dexamethasone dimer implant is shown to effectively inhibit inflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide. In a rabbit model, dexamethasone dimer intravitreal implants demonstrate predictable pharmacokinetics and significantly extend drug release duration and efficacy (>6 months) compared to a leading commercial polymeric dexamethasone-releasing implant.
  7. Nano Lett. 2021 May 17.
      The tumor immunosuppressive microenvironment greatly limits the efficacy of immunotherapy. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are the most abundant immunosuppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment, which can inhibit the tumor after converting it to an M1-like phenotype. In addition, immunogenic cell death (ICD) can increase the amount of T lymphocytes in tumors, activating antineoplastic immunity. Herein, tumor-associated macrophage polarization therapy supplemented with PLGA-DOX (PDOX)-induced ICD is developed for cancer treatment. The nanoparticles/bacteria complex (Ec-PR848) is fabricated for tumor targeting and TAM polarization, and PLGA-R848 (PR848) are attached to the surface of Escherichia coli (E. coli) MG1655 via electrostatic absorption. The toll-like receptor 7/8 (TLR7/8) agonist resiquimod (R848) and E. coli can greatly polarize M2 macrophages to M1 macrophages, while PDOX-induced ICD can also impair the immunosuppression of the tumor microenvironment. This strategy shows that tumor-associated macrophage polarization therapy combined with ICD induced by low-dose chemotherapeutic drugs can commendably enhance the efficacy of immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  Escherichia coli; immunogenic cell death; nanoparticles; polarization; tumor-associated macrophages
  8. ACS Synth Biol. 2021 May 18.
      Cell aggregation is a complex behavior that is closely related to the viability, differentiation, and migration of cells. An effort to create synthetic analogs could lead to considerable advances in cell physiology and biophysics. Rendering and modulating such a dynamic artificial cell system require mechanisms for receiving, transducing, and transmitting intercellular signals, yet effective tools are limited at present. Here we construct synthetic cells from engineered lipids and show their programmable aggregation behaviors using DNA oligonucleotides as signaling molecules. The artificial cells have transmembrane channels made of DNA origami that are used to recognize and process intercellular signals. We demonstrate that multiple small vesicles aggregate onto a giant vesicle after a transduction of external DNA signals by an intracellular enzyme and that the small vesicles dissociate when receiving "release" signals. This work provides new possibilities for building synthetic protocells capable of chemical communication and coordination.
    Keywords:  DNA nanotechnology; DNA origami; cell aggregation; membrane pore; synthetic cells; vesicles
  9. Nanoscale. 2021 May 19.
      Glucose starvation has emerged as a therapeutic strategy to inhibit tumor growth by regulating glucose metabolism. However, the rapid proliferation of cancer cells could induce the hypoxic tumor microenvironment (TME) which limits the therapeutic efficacy of glucose starvation by vascular isomerization. Herein, we developed a "dual-lock" supramolecular nanomedicine system for synergistic cancer therapy by integrating glucose oxidase (GOx) induced starvation and hypoxia-activated gene therapy. The host-guest interactions (that mediate nano-assembly formation) and hypoxia-activatable promoters act as two locks to keep glucose oxidase (GOx) and a therapeutic plasmid (RTP801::p53) inside supramolecular gold nanovesicles (Au NVs). Upon initial dissociation of the host-guest interactions and hence Au NVs by cancer-specific reactive oxygen species (ROS), GOx is released to consume glucose and oxygen, generate H2O2 and induce the hypoxic TME, which act as the two keys for triggering burst payload release and promoter activation, thus allowing synergistic starvation and gene therapy of cancer. This "dual-lock" supramolecular nanomedicine exhibited integrated therapeutic effects in vitro and in vivo for tumor suppression.
  10. ACS Nano. 2021 May 19.
      Over the last years, advancements in the use of nanoparticles for biomedical applications have clearly showcased their potential for the preparation of improved imaging and drug-delivery systems. However, compared to the vast number of currently studied nanoparticles for such applications, only a few successfully translate into clinical practice. A common "barrier" that prevents nanoparticles from efficiently delivering their payload to the target site after administration is related to liver filtering, mainly due to nanoparticle uptake by macrophages. This work reports the physicochemical and biological investigation of disulfide-bridged organosilica nanoparticles with cage-like morphology, OSCs, assessing in detail their bioaccumulation in vivo. The fate of intravenously injected 20 nm OSCs was investigated in both healthy and tumor-bearing mice. Interestingly, OSCs exclusively colocalize with hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) while avoiding Kupffer-cell uptake (less than 6%) under both physiological and pathological conditions. Our findings suggest that organosilica nanocages hold the potential to be used as nanotools for LSECs modulation, potentially impacting key biological processes such as tumor cell extravasation and hepatic immunity to invading metastatic cells or a tolerogenic state in intrahepatic immune cells in autoimmune diseases.
    Keywords:  LSECs; biodistribution; cage-like particles; hepatic macrophages; organosilica particles; stimuli-responsive release
  11. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 May 25. pii: e2016168118. [Epub ahead of print]118(21):
      Tumors are often infiltrated by T lymphocytes recognizing either self- or mutated antigens but are generally inactive, although they often show signs of prior clonal expansion. Hypothesizing that this may be due to peripheral tolerance, we formulated nanoparticles containing innate immune stimulants that we found were sufficient to activate self-specific CD8+ T cells and injected them into two different mouse tumor models, B16F10 and MC38. These nanoparticles robustly activated and/or expanded antigen-specific CD8+ tumor-infiltrating T cells, along with a decrease in regulatory CD4+ T cells and an increase in Interleukin-17 producers, resulting in significant tumor growth retardation or elimination and the establishment of immune memory in surviving mice. Furthermore, nanoparticles with modification of stimulating human T cells enabled the robust activation of endogenous T cells in patient-derived tumor organoids. These results indicate that breaking peripheral tolerance without regard to the antigen specificity creates a promising pathway for cancer immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  cancer immunotherapy; innate immune stimulation; nanoparticles; peripheral tolerance; self-antigen–specific tumor-infiltrating T cells
  12. ACS Nano. 2021 May 21.
      The nanoscale spatial organization of transmembrane tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptors has been implicated in the regulation of cellular fate. Accordingly, molecular tools that can induce specific arrangements of these receptors on cell surfaces would give us an opportunity to study these effects in detail. To achieve this, we introduce DNA origami nanostructures that precisely scaffold the patterning of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-mimicking peptides at nanoscale level. Stimulating human breast cancer cells with these patterns, we find that around 5 nm is the critical interligand distance of hexagonally patterned peptides to induce death receptor clustering and a resulting apoptosis. We thus offer a strategy to reverse the non-efficacy of current ligand- and antibody-based methods for TNF superfamily activation.
    Keywords:  DNA origami; TRAIL-mimicking peptide; apoptosis; death receptor clustering; hexagonal pattern