bims-drudre Biomed News
on Targeted drug delivery and programmed release mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒11‒21
eleven papers selected by
Ceren Kimna
Technical University of Munich

  1. Adv Healthc Mater. 2021 Nov 16. e2101788
      Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease and the major pathological factor of most cardiovascular diseases, leading to approximately one-third of deaths worldwide. Improving local delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs to the site of atherosclerosis has significant promise to prevent the development of atherosclerotic plaque clinically. Here, a modified macrophage membrane-coated nanoparticle drug delivery able to transport colchicine to the atherosclerotic site is reported. This hybrid system efficiently targets endothelial cells under an inflammatory environment while escaping the endocytosis of macrophages. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory effect of the modified macrophage membrane-coated nanoparticles on foam cells is studied. In vivo, the migration of the modified macrophage membrane-coated nanoparticles to atherosclerotic lesions is confirmed in a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque mouse model. Intravenous injections of the hybrid system successfully reduce the lipid plaque load and improve the plaque stability. Our strategy provides a potential therapeutic system for the targeted delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs to the atherosclerotic site for the treatment of atherosclerosis in cardiovascular diseases. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Atherosclerosis; Colchicine; Modified macrophage membrane; PLGA nanoparticles
  2. Small. 2021 Nov 16. e2101959
      MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding endogenous RNAs, which are attracting a growing interest as therapeutic molecules due to their central role in major diseases. However, the transformation of these biomolecules into drugs is limited due to their unstability in the bloodstream, caused by nucleases abundantly present in the blood, and poor capacity to enter cells. The conjugation of miRNAs to nanoparticles (NPs) could be an effective strategy for their clinical delivery. Herein, the engineering of non-liposomal lipid nanovesicles, named quatsomes (QS), for the delivery of miRNAs and other small RNAs into the cytosol of tumor cells, triggering a tumor-suppressive response is reported. The engineered pH-sensitive nanovesicles have controlled structure (unilamellar), size (<150 nm) and composition. These nanovesicles are colloidal stable (>24 weeks), and are prepared by a green, GMP compliant, and scalable one-step procedure, which are all unavoidable requirements for the arrival to the clinical practice of NP based miRNA therapeutics. Furthermore, QS protect miRNAs from RNAses and when injected intravenously, deliver them into liver, lung, and neuroblastoma xenografts tumors. These stable nanovesicles with tunable pH sensitiveness constitute an attractive platform for the efficient delivery of miRNAs and other small RNAs with therapeutic activity and their exploitation in the clinics.
    Keywords:  cancer therapy; miRNAs delivery; nanocarriers; nanovesicles; neuroblastoma; pediatric cancer; quatsomes; siRNAs delivery
  3. Nat Commun. 2021 Nov 18. 12(1): 6742
      Immunotherapy has become a powerful cancer treatment, but only a small fraction of patients have achieved durable benefits due to the immune escape mechanism. In this study, epigenetic regulation is combined with gene therapy-mediated immune checkpoint blockade to relieve this immune escape mechanism. PPD (i.e., mPEG-b-PLG/PEI-RT3/DNA) is developed to mediate plasmid-encoding shPD-L1 delivery by introducing multiple interactions (i.e., electrostatic, hydrogen bonding, and hydrophobic interactions) and polyproline II (PPII)-helix conformation, which downregulates PD-L1 expression on tumour cells to relieve the immunosuppression of T cells. Zebularine (abbreviated as Zeb), a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor (DNMTi), is used for the epigenetic regulation of the tumour immune microenvironment, thus inducing DC maturation and MHC I molecule expression to enhance antigen presentation. PPD plus Zeb combination therapy initiates a systemic anti-tumour immune response and effectively prevents tumour relapse and metastasis by generating durable immune memory. This strategy provides a scheme for tumour treatment and the inhibition of relapse and metastasis.
  4. Nat Commun. 2021 Nov 15. 12(1): 6584
      Despite bacterial-mediated biotherapies have been widely explored for treating different types of cancer, their implementation has been restricted by low treatment efficacy, due largely to the absence of tumor-specific accumulation following administration. Here, the conjugation of aptamers to bacterial surface is described by a simple and cytocompatible amidation procedure, which can significantly promote the localization of bacteria in tumor site after systemic administration. The surface density of aptamers can be easily adjusted by varying feed ratio and the conjugation is able to increase the stability of anchored aptamers. Optimal bacteria conjugated with an average of 2.8 × 105 aptamers per cell present the highest specificity to tumor cells in vitro, separately generating near 2- and 4-times higher accumulation in tumor tissue at 12 and 60 hours compared to unmodified bacteria. In both 4T1 and H22 tumor-bearing mouse models, aptamer-conjugated attenuated Salmonella show enhanced antitumor efficacy, along with highly activated immune responses inside the tumor. This work demonstrates how bacterial behaviors can be tuned by surface conjugation and supports the potential of aptamer-conjugated bacteria for both targeted intratumoral localization and enhanced tumor biotherapy.
  5. ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2021 Nov 16.
      The gastrointestinal mucus layer plays a significant role in maintaining gut homeostasis and health, offering protective capacities against the absorption of harmful pathogens as well as commensal gut bacteria and buffering stomach acid to protect the underlying epithelium. Despite this, the mucus barrier is often overlooked during preclinical pharmaceutical development and may pose a significant absorption barrier to high molecular weight or lipophilic drug species. The complex chemical and physical nature of the dynamic mucus layer has proven problematic to reliably replicate in a laboratory setting, leading to the development of multiple mucus models with varying complexity and predictive capacity. This, coupled with the wide range of analysis methods available, has led to a plethora of possible approaches to quantifying mucus permeation; however, the field remains significantly under-represented in biomedical research. For this reason, the development of a concise collation of the available approaches to mucus permeation is essential. In this review, we explore widely utilized mucus mimics ranging in complexity from simple mucin solutions to native mucus preparations for their predictive capacity in mucus permeation analysis. Furthermore, we highlight the diverse range of laboratory-based models available for the analysis of mucus interaction and permeability with a specific focus on in vitro, ex vivo, and in situ models. Finally, we highlight the predictive capacity of these models in correlation with in vivo pharmacokinetic data. This review provides a comprehensive and critical overview of the available technologies to analyze mucus permeation, facilitating the efficient selection of appropriate tools for further advancement in oral drug delivery.
    Keywords:  gastrointestinal mucus; in vitro; mucoadhesion; mucopermeation
  6. Acc Chem Res. 2021 Nov 18.
      ConspectusAfter decades of extensive fundamental studies and clinical trials, lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) have demonstrated effective mRNA delivery such as the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines fighting against COVID-19. Moreover, researchers and clinicians have been investigating mRNA therapeutics for a variety of therapeutic indications including protein replacement therapy, genome editing, and cancer immunotherapy. To realize these therapeutics in the clinic, there are many formidable challenges. First, novel delivery systems such as LNPs with high delivery efficiency and low toxicity need to be developed for different cell types. Second, mRNA molecules need to be engineered for improved pharmaceutical properties. Lastly, the LNP-mRNA nanoparticle formulations need to match their therapeutic applications.In this Account, we summarize our recent advances in the design and development of various classes of lipids and lipid derivatives, which can be formulated with multiple types of mRNA molecules to treat diverse diseases. For example, we conceived a series of ionizable lipid-like molecules based on the structures of a benzene core, an amide linker, and hydrophobic tails. We identified N1,N3,N5-tris(3-(didodecylamino)propyl)benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide (TT3) as a lead compound for mRNA delivery both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we tuned the biodegradability of these lipid-like molecules by introducing branched ester or linear ester chains. Meanwhile, inspired by biomimetic compounds, we synthesized vitamin-derived lipids, chemotherapeutic conjugated lipids, phospholipids, and glycolipids. These scaffolds greatly broaden the chemical space of ionizable lipids for mRNA delivery. In another section, we highlight our efforts on the research direction of mRNA engineering. We previously optimized mRNA chemistry using chemically-modified nucleotides to increase the protein expression, such as pseudouridine (ψ), 5-methoxyuridine (5moU), and N1-methylpseudouridine (me1ψ). Also, we engineered the sequences of mRNA 5' untranslated regions (5'-UTRs) and 3' untranslated regions (3'-UTRs), which dramatically enhanced protein expression. With the progress of LNP development and mRNA engineering, we consolidate these technologies and apply them to treat diseases such as genetic disorders, infectious diseases, and cancers. For instance, TT3 and its analog-derived lipid-like nanoparticles can effectively deliver factor IX or VIII mRNA and recover the clotting activity in hemophilia mouse models. Engineered mRNAs encoding SARS-CoV-2 antigens serve well as vaccine candidates against COVID-19. Vitamin-derived lipid nanoparticles loaded with antimicrobial peptide-cathepsin B mRNA enable adoptive macrophage transfer to treat multidrug resistant bacterial sepsis. Biomimetic lipids such as phospholipids formulated with mRNAs encoding costimulatory receptors lead to enhanced cancer immunotherapy.Overall, lipid-mRNA nanoparticle formulations have considerably benefited public health in the COVID-19 pandemic. To expand their applications in clinical use, research work from many disciplines such as chemistry, engineering, materials, pharmaceutical sciences, and medicine need to be integrated. With these collaborative efforts, we believe that more and more lipid-mRNA nanoparticle formulations will enter the clinic in the near future and benefit human health.
  7. Anal Chem. 2021 Nov 19.
      Specific and sensitive detection and imaging of cancer-related miRNA in living cells are desirable for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Because of the spatiotemporal variability of miRNA expression level during different cell cycles, signal amplification strategies that can be activated by external stimuli are required to image miRNAs on demand at desired times and selected locations. Herein, we develop a signal amplification strategy termed as the photoactivated DNA walker based on DNA nanoflares, which enables photocontrollable signal amplification imaging of cancer-related miRNA in single living cells. The developed method is achieved via combining photoactivated nucleic acid displacement reaction with the traditional exonuclease III (EXO III)-assisted DNA walker based on DNA nanoflares. This method is capable of on-demand activation of the DNA walker for dictated signal amplification imaging of cancer-related miRNA in single living cells. The developed method was demonstrated as a proof of concept to achieve photoactivated signal amplification imaging of miRNA-21 in single living HeLa cells via selective two-photon irradiation (λ = 740 nm) of single living HeLa cells by using confocal microscopy equipped with a femtosecond laser.
  8. Biomaterials. 2021 Nov 12. pii: S0142-9612(21)00609-8. [Epub ahead of print]279 121252
      It is challenging to diagnose patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) early on, and their treatment is often complex. Gemcitabine (GEM) is the first-line treatment for PDAC, but its efficacy is limited in most patients due to the GEM resistance from KRAS and P53 gene mutations. We describe the correction of a double gene mutation and therapeutic effect for the GEM resistant PDAC. Bio-available nanoliposomes (NL) possessing Cas9-ribonucleoproteins and adenine-base editors were developed to conduct KRAS and P53 mutation gene editing directly. NLs were conjugated with EGFR antibodies to tumor-specific delivery, and the anti-cancer effect was verified in vitro and in vivo Model. Our GEM-combinatorial therapeutic strategies using double gene editing systems with one-shot may be a potent therapy for PDAC, overcoming chemoresistance.
    Keywords:  Drug-resistance; Gene editing; Nanoliposome; Pancreatic cancer; Protein delivery
  9. Nat Commun. 2021 Nov 18. 12(1): 6738
      FOLFIRINOX, a combination of chemotherapy drugs (Fluorouracil, Oxaliplatin, Irinotecan -FOI), provides the best clinical benefit in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients. In this study we explore the role of miRNAs (MIR) as modulators of chemosensitivity to identify potential biomarkers of response. We find that 41 and 84 microRNA inhibitors enhance the sensitivity of Capan1 and MiaPaCa2 PDAC cells respectively. These include a MIR1307-inhibitor that we validate in further PDAC cell lines. Chemotherapy-induced apoptosis and DNA damage accumulation are higher in MIR1307 knock-out (MIR1307KO) versus control PDAC cells, while re-expression of MIR1307 in MIR1307KO cells rescues these effects. We identify binding of MIR1307 to CLIC5 mRNA through covalent ligation of endogenous Argonaute-bound RNAs cross-linking immunoprecipitation assay. We validate these findings in an in vivo model with MIR1307 disruption. In a pilot cohort of PDAC patients undergoing FOLFIRONX chemotherapy, circulating MIR1307 correlates with clinical outcome.
  10. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Nov 23. pii: e2107682118. [Epub ahead of print]118(47):
      Cholesterol biosynthetic intermediates, such as lanosterol and desmosterol, are emergent immune regulators of macrophages in response to inflammatory stimuli or lipid overloading, respectively. However, the participation of these sterols in regulating macrophage functions in the physiological context of atherosclerosis, an inflammatory disease driven by the accumulation of cholesterol-laden macrophages in the artery wall, has remained elusive. Here, we report that desmosterol, the most abundant cholesterol biosynthetic intermediate in human coronary artery lesions, plays an essential role during atherogenesis, serving as a key molecule integrating cholesterol homeostasis and immune responses in macrophages. Depletion of desmosterol in myeloid cells by overexpression of 3β-hydroxysterol Δ24-reductase (DHCR24), the enzyme that catalyzes conversion of desmosterol to cholesterol, promotes the progression of atherosclerosis. Single-cell transcriptomics in isolated CD45+CD11b+ cells from atherosclerotic plaques demonstrate that depletion of desmosterol increases interferon responses and attenuates the expression of antiinflammatory macrophage markers. Lipidomic and transcriptomic analysis of in vivo macrophage foam cells demonstrate that desmosterol is a major endogenous liver X receptor (LXR) ligand involved in LXR/retinoid X receptor (RXR) activation and thus macrophage foam cell formation. Decreased desmosterol accumulation in mitochondria promotes macrophage mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and NLR family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3)-dependent inflammasome activation. Deficiency of NLRP3 or apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC) rescues the increased inflammasome activity and atherogenesis observed in desmosterol-depleted macrophages. Altogether, these findings underscore the critical function of desmosterol in the atherosclerotic plaque to dampen inflammation by integrating with macrophage cholesterol metabolism and inflammatory activation and protecting from disease progression.
    Keywords:  atherosclerosis; cholesterol; immunometabolism; macrophages
  11. Nat Commun. 2021 Nov 16. 12(1): 6615
      Advances in protein design have brought us within reach of developing a nanoscale programming language, in which molecules serve as operands and their conformational states function as logic gates with precise input and output behaviors. Combining these nanoscale computing agents into larger molecules and molecular complexes will allow us to write and execute "code". Here, in an important step toward this goal, we report an engineered, single protein design that is allosterically regulated to function as a 'two-input logic OR gate'. Our system is based on chemo- and optogenetic regulation of focal adhesion kinase. In the engineered FAK, all of FAK domain architecture is retained and key intramolecular interactions between the kinase and the FERM domains are externally controlled through a rapamycin-inducible uniRapR module in the kinase domain and a light-inducible LOV2 module in the FERM domain. Orthogonal regulation of protein function was possible using the chemo- and optogenetic switches. We demonstrate that dynamic FAK activation profoundly increased cell multiaxial complexity in the fibrous extracellular matrix microenvironment and decreased cell motility. This work provides proof-of-principle for fine multimodal control of protein function and paves the way for construction of complex nanoscale computing agents.