bims-drudre Biomed News
on Targeted drug delivery and programmed release mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒06‒20
fourteen papers selected by
Ceren Kimna
Technical University of Munich

  1. Nat Nanotechnol. 2021 Jun 17.
      The successful in vivo implementation of gene expression modulation strategies relies on effective, non-immunogenic delivery vehicles. Lipid nanoparticles are one of the most advanced non-viral clinically approved nucleic-acid delivery systems. Yet lipid nanoparticles accumulate naturally in liver cells upon intravenous administration, and hence, there is an urgent need to enhance uptake by other cell types. Here we use a conformation-sensitive targeting strategy to achieve in vivo gene silencing in a selective subset of leukocytes and show potential therapeutic applications in a murine model of colitis. In particular, by targeting the high-affinity conformation of α4β7 integrin, which is a hallmark of inflammatory gut-homing leukocytes, we silenced interferon-γ in the gut, resulting in an improved therapeutic outcome in experimental colitis. The lipid nanoparticles did not induce adverse immune activation or liver toxicity. These results suggest that our lipid nanoparticle targeting strategy might be applied for selective delivery of payloads to other conformation-sensitive targets.
  2. ACS Nano. 2021 Jun 15.
      Protein pores recently enabled a breakthrough in bioanalytics by making it possible to sequence individual DNA and RNA strands during their translocation through the lumen of the pore. Despite this success and the overall promise of nanopore-based single-molecule analytics, protein pores have not yet reached their full potential for the analysis and characterization of globular biomolecules such as natively folded proteins. One reason is that the diameters of available protein pores are too small for accommodating the translocation of most folded globular proteins through their lumen. The work presented here provides a step toward overcoming this limitation by programmed self-assembly of α-helical pore-forming peptides with covalently attached single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). Specifically, hybridization of the peptide ceratotoxin A (CtxA) with N-terminally attached ssDNA to a complementary DNA template strand with 4, 8, or 12 hybridization sites made it possible to trigger the assembly of pores with various diameters ranging from approximately 0.5 to 4 nm. Hybridization of additional DNA strands to these assemblies achieved extended functionality in a modular fashion without the need for modifying the amino acid sequence of the peptides. For instance, functionalization of these semisynthetic biological nanopores with DNA-cholesterol anchors increased their affinity to lipid membranes compared to pores formed by native CtxA, while charged transmembrane segments prolonged their open-state lifetime. Assembly of these hybrid DNA-peptides by a template increased their cytotoxic activity and made it possible to kill cancer cells at 20-fold lower total peptide concentrations than nontemplated CtxA.
    Keywords:  Ceratotoxin A; DNA nanotechnology; nanopore; pore-forming peptide; programmable pore diameter; size-tunable pore
  3. Sci Adv. 2021 Jun;pii: eabf8630. [Epub ahead of print]7(25):
      Diverse immunoregulatory circuits operate to preserve intestinal homeostasis and prevent inflammation. Galectin-1 (Gal1), a β-galactoside-binding protein, promotes homeostasis by reprogramming innate and adaptive immunity. Here, we identify a glycosylation-dependent "on-off" circuit driven by Gal1 and its glycosylated ligands that controls intestinal immunopathology by targeting activated CD8+ T cells and shaping the cytokine profile. In patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), augmented Gal1 was associated with dysregulated expression of core 2 β6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 (C2GNT1) and α(2,6)-sialyltransferase 1 (ST6GAL1), glycosyltransferases responsible for creating or masking Gal1 ligands. Mice lacking Gal1 exhibited exacerbated colitis and augmented mucosal CD8+ T cell activation in response to 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid; this phenotype was partially ameliorated by treatment with recombinant Gal1. While C2gnt1-/- mice exhibited aggravated colitis, St6gal1-/- mice showed attenuated inflammation. These effects were associated with intrinsic T cell glycosylation. Thus, Gal1 and its glycosylated ligands act to preserve intestinal homeostasis by recalibrating T cell immunity.
  4. Adv Mater. 2021 Jun 17. e2101223
      Recently, enzyme dynamic therapy (EDT) has drawn much attention as a new type of dynamic therapy. However, the selection of suitable nanocarriers to deliver chloroperoxidase (CPO) and enhancement of the level of hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2 ) in the tumor microenvironment (TME) are critical factors for improving the efficiency of EDT. In this study, a rapidly decomposing nanocomposite is designed using tetra-sulfide-bond-incorporating dendritic mesoporous organosilica (DMOS) as a nanocarrier, followed by loading CPO and sodium-hyaluronate-modified calcium peroxide nanoparticles (CaO2 -HA NPs). The nanocomposite can effectively generate singlet oxygen (1 O2 ) for tumor therapy without any exogenous stimulus via trimodal-enhanced EDT, including DMOS-induced depletion of glutathione (GSH), H2 O2 compensation from CaO2 -HA NPs in mildly acidic TME, and oxidative stress caused by overloading of Ca2+ . As tetra-sulfide bonds are sensitive to GSH, DMOS can generate hydrogen sulfide (H2 S) gas as a new kind of H2 S gas nanoreactor. Additionally, the overloading of Ca2+ can cause tumor calcification to accelerate in vivo tumor necrosis and promote computed tomography imaging efficacy. Therefore, a novel H2 S gas, EDT, and Ca2+ -interference combined therapy strategy is developed.
    Keywords:  Ca 2+-interference; combined tumor therapy; enzyme dynamic; hydrogen sulfide gas; tumor microenvironment-responsive
  5. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2021 Jun 17. e2100787
      Inflammatory modulations focusing on macrophage phenotype are promising candidates to promote better cardiac healing post myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (MI/R) injury. However, the peak of monocyte/macrophage recruitment is later than the time when enhanced permeability and retention effect disappears, which greatly increases the difficulty of reprogramming macrophages through systemic administration. Meanwhile, the inability of nanomaterials to release their contents to specific intracellular locations through reasonable cellular internalization pathways is another obstacle to achieving macrophage reprogramming. Here, inspired by the increase in circulating platelet-monocyte aggregates in patients' post-MI/R and the high efficiency of fusogenic liposomes to deliver contents to the cytoplasm of target cells, a platelet-like fusogenic liposome (PLPs) is constructed. Under the coating of PLPs, mesoporous silica nanospheres with a payload of miR-21, an anti-inflammatory agent, can be specifically delivered to inflammatory monocytes in the blood circulation of MI/R induced mice. Then it directly enters the cytoplasm of monocytes through membrane fusion, thereby realizing the reparative reprogramming of the inflamed macrophages derived from it. In vivo administration of the resulting formula can effectively preserve the cardiac function of mice undergone MI/R. Minimal invasiveness and biological safety make this nano-platform a promising approach of immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  Biomimetic; macrophages; membrane fusion; miRNAs; monocytes; myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury; platelets
  6. Sci Adv. 2021 Jun;pii: eabf7820. [Epub ahead of print]7(25):
      As numerous diseases are associated with increased local inflammation, directing drugs to the inflamed sites can be a powerful therapeutic strategy. One of the common characteristics of inflamed endothelial cells is the up-regulation of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). Here, the specific affinity between very late antigen-4 (VLA-4) and VCAM-1 is exploited to produce a biomimetic nanoparticle formulation capable of targeting inflammation. The plasma membrane from cells genetically modified to constitutively express VLA-4 is coated onto polymeric nanoparticle cores, and the resulting cell membrane-coated nanoparticles exhibit enhanced affinity to target cells that overexpress VCAM-1 in vitro. A model anti-inflammatory drug, dexamethasone, is encapsulated into the nanoformulation, enabling improved delivery of the payload to inflamed lungs and significant therapeutic efficacy in vivo. Overall, this work leverages the unique advantages of biological membrane coatings to engineer additional targeting specificities using naturally occurring target-ligand interactions.
  7. Adv Mater. 2021 Jun 17. e2006619
      Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) protein gene editing is poised to transform the treatment of genetic diseases. However, limited progress has been made toward precise editing of DNA via homology-directed repair (HDR) that requires careful orchestration of complex steps. Herein, dendrimer-based lipid nanoparticles (dLNPs) are engineered to co-encapsulate and deliver multiple components for in vivo HDR correction. BFP/GFP switchable HEK293 cells with a single Y66H amino acid mutation are employed to assess HDR-mediated gene editing following simultaneous, one-pot delivery of Cas9 mRNA, single-guide RNA, and donor DNA. Molar ratios of individual LNP components and weight ratios of the three nucleic acids are systematically optimized to increase HDR efficiency. Using flow cytometry, fluorescence imaging, and DNA sequencing to quantify editing, optimized 4A3-SC8 dLNPs edit >91% of all cells with 56% HDR efficiency in vitro and >20% HDR efficiency in xenograft tumors in vivo. Due to the all-in-one simplicity and high efficacy, the developed dLNPs offer a promising route toward the gene correction of disease-causing mutations.
    Keywords:  CRISPR/Cas; gene editing; mRNA delivery; nanoparticles; nucleic acid delivery
  8. Nat Mater. 2021 Jun 14.
      Implantable drug depots have the capacity to locally meet therapeutic requirements by maximizing local drug efficacy and minimizing potential systemic side effects. Tubular organs including the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and vasculature all manifest with endoluminal disease. The anatomic distribution of localized drug delivery for these organs using existing therapeutic modalities is limited. Application of local depots in a circumferential and extended longitudinal fashion could transform our capacity to offer effective treatment across a range of conditions. Here we report the development and application of a kirigami-based stent platform to achieve this. The stents comprise a stretchable snake-skin-inspired kirigami shell integrated with a fluidically driven linear soft actuator. They have the capacity to deposit drug depots circumferentially and longitudinally in the tubular mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract across millimetre to multi-centimetre length scales, as well as in the vasculature and large airways. We characterize the mechanics of kirigami stents for injection, and their capacity to engage tissue in a controlled manner and deposit degradable microparticles loaded with therapeutics by evaluating these systems ex vivo and in vivo in swine. We anticipate such systems could be applied for a range of endoluminal diseases by simplifying dosing regimens while maximizing drug on-target effects through the sustained release of therapeutics and minimizing systemic side effects.
  9. Sci Adv. 2021 May;pii: eabg3217. [Epub ahead of print]7(21):
      Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) sustain the disease and contribute to relapse in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Therapies that ablate LSCs may increase the chance of eliminating this cancer in patients. To this end, we used a bioreducible lipidoid-encapsulated Cas9/single guide RNA (sgRNA) ribonucleoprotein [lipidoid nanoparticle (LNP)-Cas9 RNP] to target the critical gene interleukin-1 receptor accessory protein (IL1RAP) in human LSCs. To enhance LSC targeting, we loaded LNP-Cas9 RNP and the chemokine CXCL12α onto mesenchymal stem cell membrane-coated nanofibril (MSCM-NF) scaffolds mimicking the bone marrow microenvironment. In vitro, CXCL12α release induced migration of LSCs to the scaffolds, and LNP-Cas9 RNP induced efficient gene editing. IL1RAP knockout reduced LSC colony-forming capacity and leukemic burden. Scaffold-based delivery increased the retention time of LNP-Cas9 in the bone marrow cavity. Overall, sustained local delivery of Cas9/IL1RAP sgRNA via CXCL12α-loaded LNP/MSCM-NF scaffolds provides an effective strategy for attenuating LSC growth to improve AML therapy.
  10. Small. 2021 Jun 18. e2101208
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most malignant tumors with a low survival rate. The therapeutic effect of chemotherapy and immunotherapy for PDAC is disappointing due to the presence of dense tumor stroma and immunosuppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Herein, a tumor-penetrating nanoparticle is reported to modulate the deep microenvironment of PDAC for improved chemoimmunotherapy. The tumor pH-sensitive polymer is synthesized by conjugating N,N-dipentylethyl moieties and monomethoxylpoly(ethylene glycol) onto PAMAM dendrimer, into whose cavity a hydrophobic gemcitabine (Gem) prodrug is accommodated. They self-assemble into nanoparticles (denoted as SPN@Pro-Gem) with the size around 120 nm at neutral pH, but switch into small particles (≈8 nm) at tumor site to facilitate deep delivery of Gem into the tumor parenchyma. In addition to killing cancer cells that resided deeply in the tumor tissue, SPN@Pro-Gem could modulate the TME by reducing the abundance of tumor-associated macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells as well as upregulating the expression level of PD-L1 of tumor cells. This collectively facilitates the infiltration of cytotoxic T cells into the tumors and renders checkpoint inhibitors more effective in previously unresponsive PDAC models. This study reveals a promising strategy for improving the chemoimmunotherapy of pancreatic cancer.
    Keywords:  cancer chemoimmunotherapy; nanomedicine; pH-sensitive drug delivery; tumor penetration
  11. Nano Lett. 2021 Jun 16.
      Cell-membrane-coated nanoparticles have emerged as a promising antitumor therapeutic strategy. However, the immunologic mechanism remains elusive, and there are still crucial issues to be addressed including tumor-homing capacity, immune incompatibility, and immunogenicity. Here, we reported a tumor-associated macrophage membrane (TAMM) derived from the primary tumor with unique antigen-homing affinity capacity and immune compatibility. TAMM could deplete the CSF1 secreted by tumor cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME), blocking the interaction between TAM and cancer cells. Especially, after coating TAMM to upconversion nanoparticle with conjugated photosensitizer (NPR@TAMM), NPR@TAMM-mediated photodynamic immunotherapy switched the activation of macrophages from an immunosuppressive M2-like phenotype to a more inflammatory M1-like state, induced immunogenic cell death, and consequently enhanced the antitumor immunity efficiency via activation of antigen-presenting cells to stimulate the production of tumor-specific effector T cells in metastatic tumors. This TAM-membrane-based photodynamic immunotherapy approach offers a new strategy for personalized tumor therapy.
    Keywords:  cell membrane coating; colony-stimulating factor; photodynamic therapy; tumor-associated macrophage; upconversion nanoparticles
  12. Nano Lett. 2021 Jun 16.
      In situ synthesis of DNA origami structures in living systems is highly desirable due to its potential in biological applications, which nevertheless is hampered by the requirement of thermal activation procedures. Here, we report a photothermal DNA origami assembly method in near-physiological environments. We find that the use of copper sulfide nanoparticles (CuS NPs) can mediate efficient near-infrared (NIR) photothermal conversion to remotely control the solution temperature. Under a 4 min NIR illumination and subsequent natural cooling, rapid and high-yield (>80%) assembly of various types of DNA origami nanostructures is achieved as revealed by atomic force microscopy and single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer analysis. We further demonstrate the in situ assembly of DNA origami with high location precision in cell lysates and in cell culture environments.
    Keywords:  DNA origami; copper sulfide nanoparticles; in situ assembly; near-infrared irradiation; near-physiological environments; photothermal effect
  13. Small. 2021 Jun 17. e2101224
      The delivery of mRNA to manipulate protein expression has attracted widespread attention, since that mRNA overcomes the problem of infection and mutation risks in transgenes and can work as drugs for the treatment of diseases. Although there are currently some vehicles that deliver mRNA into cells, they have not yet reached a good balance in terms of expression efficiency and biocompatibility. Here, a DNA nano-hydrogel system for mRNA delivery is developed. The nano-hydrogel is all composed of DNA except the target mRNA, so it has superior biocompatibility compared with those chemical vehicles. In parallel, the nano-hydrogel can be compacted into a nanosphere under the crosslinking by well-designed "X"-shaped DNA scaffolds and DNA linkers, facilitating the delivery into cells through endocytosis. In addition, smart intracellular release of the mRNA is achieved by incorporating a pH-responsive i-motif structure into the nano-hydrogel. Thus, taking the efficient delivery and release together, mRNA can be translated into the corresponding protein with a high efficiency, which is comparable to that of the commercial liposome but with a much better biocompatibility. Due to the excellent biocompatibility and efficiency, this nano-hydrogel system is expected to become a competitive alternative for delivering functional mRNA in vivo.
    Keywords:  Gaussia luciferase; delivery; green fluorescent proteins; mRNA; nano-hydrogels
  14. Chem Sci. 2020 Aug 07. 11(33): 8966-8972
      DNAzymes exhibit high potential as gene silencing agents for therapeutic applications. Such purposes, however, are significantly challenged by the targeted and successful delivery of unmodified DNAzymes into cells with minimal side effects. Here, we set out to formulate and demonstrate a new stimuli-responsive and constrained aptamer/DNAzyme (Apt/Dz) catenane nanostructure for highly specific gene silencing. The rational design of the Apt/Dz catenane nanostructure with the respective integration of the aptamer sequence and the completely closed catenane format enables both the targeted capability and significantly improved nuclease resistance, facilitating the stable and targeted delivery of unmodified Dz into cancer cells. Moreover, the Dz enzymatic activity in the constrained structure can only be conditionally regulated by the specific intracellular mRNA sequences to silence the target gene with highly reduced side effects. Results show that the Apt/Dz catenane nanostructure can effectively inhibit the expression of the target gene and the proliferation of cancer cells with high specificity.