bims-drudre Biomed News
on Targeted drug delivery and programmed release mechanisms
Issue of 2022‒06‒26
eighteen papers selected by
Ceren Kimna
Technical University of Munich

  1. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2022 Jun 23.
      Repurposing the RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 to develop artificial CRISPR molecular machines represents a new direction toward synthetic molecular information processing. The operation of CRISPR-Cas9-based machines, nevertheless, relies on the molecular recognition of freely diffused sgRNA/Cas9, making it practically challenging to perform spatially regulated localized searching or navigation. Here, we develop a DNA origami-based single-molecule CRISPR machine that can perform spatially resolved DNA cleavage via either free or localized searching modes. When triggered at a specific site on the DNA origami with nanoscale accuracy, the free searching mode leads to searching activity that gradually decays with the distance, whereas the localized mode generates spatially-confined searching activity. Our work expands the function of CRISPR molecular machines and lays foundations to develop integrated molecular circuits and high-throughput nucleic acid detection.
    Keywords:  CRISPR-Cas9, DNA origami, molecular machine, localized searching, single-molecule imaging
  2. Sci Adv. 2022 Jun 24. 8(25): eabn7162
      Interleukin-11 (IL-11) is a profibrotic cytokine essential for the differentiation of fibroblasts into collagen-secreting, actin alpha 2, smooth muscle-positive (ACTA2+) myofibroblasts, driving processes underlying the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Here, we developed an inhalable and mucus-penetrative nanoparticle (NP) system incorporating siRNA against IL11 (siIL11@PPGC NPs) and investigated therapeutic potential for the treatment of IPF. NPs are formulated through self-assembly of a biodegradable PLGA-PEG diblock copolymer and a self-created cationic lipid-like molecule G0-C14 to enable efficient transmucosal delivery of siIL11. Noninvasive aerosol inhalation hindered fibroblast differentiation and reduced ECM deposition via inhibition of ERK and SMAD2. Furthermore, siIL11@PPGC NPs significantly diminished fibrosis development and improved pulmonary function in a mouse model of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis without inducing systemic toxicity. This work presents a versatile NP platform for the locally inhaled delivery of siRNA therapeutics and exhibits promising clinical potential in the treatment of numerous respiratory diseases, including IPF.
  3. Adv Mater. 2022 Jun 23. e2203958
      Glioblastoma (GBM) is an intractable malignancy with high recurrence and mortality. Temozolomide (TMZ) and cisplatin (CDDP) based combinational therapy shows promising potential for GBM therapy in clinical trials. However, significant challenges include limited blood-brain-barrier (BBB) penetration, poor targeting of GBM tissue/cells and systemic side effect which hinder its efficacy in GBM therapy. To surmount these challenges, we developed new GBM-cell membrane camouflaged and pH-sensitive biomimetic nanoparticles (MNPs) inspired by the fact that cancer cells readily pass the BBB via reducing the tightness of endothelial cells, and localizing with homologous cells. Our results showed that MNPs can efficiently co-load TMZ and CDDP, transport these across the BBB to specifically target GBM. Incorporation of pH-sensitive polymer then allows for controlled release of drug cargos at GBM sites for combinational drug therapy. Mice bearing orthotopic U87MG or drug-resistant U251R GBM tumour and treated with MNPs@TMZ+CDDP showed a potent anti-GBM effect greatly extending survival time relative to mice receiving single-drug loaded nanoparticles or equivalent doses of free drugs. No obvious side effects were apparent in histological analyses or blood routine studies. Considering these results, our new nanoparticle formulation overcomes multiple challenges currently limiting the efficacy of combined TMZ and CDDP GBM drug therapy and appears to be a promising strategy for future GBM combinatorial chemotherapy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  biomimetic; blood brain barrier; brain delivery; combinational chemotherapy; glioblastoma
  4. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2022 Jun 22.
      Developing material chemistry systems coupled with biological processes is a promising way to rationally modulate lysosomal functions. Herein, we report a proton-driven dynamic assembly of DNA nanoframework inside cells coupled with the lysosome-mediated endocytosis pathways/lysosomal maturation, achieving the rational modulation of lysosomal functions, which we termed as lysosome interference. Through lysosome-mediated endocytosis, DNA nanoframework with acid-responsive semi-i-motif entered into lysosome and assembled into aggregate triggered by lysosomal acidity, which performed a long-term retention. Meanwhile, the consumption of protons resulted in lysosomal acidity reduction and hydrolase activity attenuation, thereby alleviating the degradation of nucleic acid drugs in interfered lysosomes and improving gene silencing effect. This study explores a new avenue to achieve lysosome interference by coupling subcellular microenvironment and precisely-programmable assembly system.
    Keywords:  DNA nanostructures; DNA nanotechnology; dynamic assembly; lysosome interference
  5. J Control Release. 2022 Jun 21. pii: S0168-3659(22)00368-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      While nanomedicines have attracted great interests for tumor therapy, their targeting and intra-tumoral penetrating efficiencies have been questioned. Here, we report a two-step low-dose radiotherapy (RT) strategy to realize significant accumulation and deep penetration of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs)-based nanomedicine for synergistic radio-immunotherapy. The first step RT was employed to recruit large amounts of macrophages into tumor. The tumor infiltrated macrophages not only served as nanoparticles drug depots, but also elicited dynamic bursts extravasation to enhance nanoparticles accumulation. We optimized the spatiotemporal combination of RT and SNAs administration for higher level of SNAs delivery, and the delivered SNAs promote M2-to-M1 phenotype switch of macrophages to increase phagocytosis of nanoparticles by 6-fold, resulting in positive feedback with even higher accumulation and intra-tumor penetration of SNAs. Through vascular bursts and macrophage repolarization, as high as 25-fold enhancement of nanoparticles accumulation was achieved as compared to passive targeting of nanoparticles, and the nanoparticles were eventually distributed throughout the tumor tissue with efficient deep penetration. Finally, SNAs in tumor simultaneously sensitized the second dose of RT and remodeled tumor immune microenvironment, resulting in a synergistic anticancer therapy in combination of anti-PD-L1 antibody (αPD-L1) with no noticeable side effects caused by either RT or αPD-L1.
    Keywords:  CpG oligodeoxynucleotides; Gold nanoparticles; Macrophages; Radiosensitization; Tumor targeting
  6. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2022 Jun 24.
      Synthetically directing T-cell against tumor emerges as a promising strategy in immunotherapy, while it remains challenging to smartly engage T cells with tunable immune response. Herein, we report an intelligent molecular platform to engineer T-cell recognition for selective activation to potently kill cancer cells. To this end, we fabricated a hybrid conjugate that uses a click-type DNA-protein conjugation to equip the T cell-engaging antibody with two distinct programmable DNA nanoassemblies. By integrating multiple aptameric antigen-recognitions within a dynamic DNA circuit, we achieved combinatorial recognition of triple-antigens on cancer cells for selective T-cell activation after high-order logic operation. Moreover, by coupling a DNA nanostructure, we precisely defined the valence of the antigen-binding aptamers to tune avidity, realizing effective tumor elimination in vitro and in vivo. Together, we present a versatile and programmable strategy for synthetic immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  DNA nanoassembly * Programmable DNA circuit * Logic operation * DNA-protein conjugation * Cancer immunotherapy
  7. Small. 2022 Jun 22. e2200951
      Granular synthetic hydrogels are useful bioinks for their compatibility with a variety of chemistries, affording printable, stimuli-responsive scaffolds with programmable structure and function. Additive manufacturing of microscale hydrogels, or microgels, allows for the fabrication of large cellularized constructs with percolating interstitial space, providing a platform for tissue engineering at length scales that are inaccessible by bulk encapsulation where transport of media and other biological factors are limited by scaffold density. Herein, synthetic microgels with varying degrees of degradability are prepared with diameters on the order of hundreds of microns by submerged electrospray and UV photopolymerization. Porous microgel scaffolds are assembled by particle jamming and extrusion printing, and semi-orthogonal chemical cues are utilized to tune the void fraction in printed scaffolds in a logic-gated manner. Scaffolds with different void fractions are easily cellularized post printing and microgels can be directly annealed into cell-laden structures. Finally, high-throughput direct encapsulation of cells within printable microgels is demonstrated, enabling large-scale 3D culture in a macroporous biomaterial. This approach provides unprecedented spatiotemporal control over the properties of printed microporous annealed particle scaffolds for 2.5D and 3D tissue culture.
    Keywords:  degradable scaffolds; human mesenchymal stem cells; poly(ethylene glycol) microgels; thioesters; three-dimensional printing
  8. ACS Nano. 2022 Jun 24.
      The capacity to efficiently deliver the gene-editing enzyme complex to target cells is favored over other forms of gene delivery as it offers one-time hit-and-run gene editing, thus improving precision and safety and reducing potential immunogenicity against edited cells in clinical applications. Here we performed a proof-of-mechanism study and demonstrated that a simian adenoviral vector for DNA delivery can be repurposed as a robust intracellular delivery platform for a functional Cas9/guide RNA (gRNA) complex to recipient cells. In this system, the clinically relevant adenovirus was genetically engineered with a plug-and-display technology based on SpyTag003/SpyCatcher003 coupling chemistry. Under physiological conditions, an off-the-shelf mixture of viral vector with SpyTag003 incorporated into surface capsid proteins and Cas9 fused with SpyCatcher003 led to a rapid titration reaction yielding adenovirus carrying Cas9SpyCatcher003 on the virus surface. The Cas9 fusion protein-conjugated viruses in the presence of a reporter gRNA delivered gene-editing functions to cells with an efficiency comparable to that of a commercial CRISPR/Cas9 transfection reagent. Our data fully validate the adenoviral "piggyback" approach to deliver an intracellularly acting enzyme cargo and, thus, warrant the prospect of engineering tissue-targeted adenovirus carrying Cas9/gRNA for in vivo gene editing.
    Keywords:  Cas9/gRNA complex; SpyCatcher003; SpyTag003; gene editing; simian adenovirus
  9. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Jun 28. 119(26): e2200348119
      Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are essential components of the cancer therapeutic armamentarium. While ICIs have demonstrated remarkable clinical responses, they can be accompanied by immune-related adverse events (irAEs). These inflammatory side effects are of unclear etiology and impact virtually all organ systems, with the most common being sites colonized by the microbiota such as the skin and gastrointestinal tract. Here, we establish a mouse model of commensal bacteria-driven skin irAEs and demonstrate that immune checkpoint inhibition unleashes commensal-specific inflammatory T cell responses. These aberrant responses were dependent on production of IL-17 by commensal-specific T cells and induced pathology that recapitulated the cutaneous inflammation seen in patients treated with ICIs. Importantly, aberrant T cell responses unleashed by ICIs were sufficient to perpetuate inflammatory memory responses to the microbiota months following the cessation of treatment. Altogether, we have established a mouse model of skin irAEs and reveal that ICIs unleash aberrant immune responses against skin commensals, with long-lasting inflammatory consequences.
    Keywords:  T cells; dermatology; immunology; immunotherapy; microbiota
  10. Adv Mater. 2022 Jun 22. e2203310
      We report a bio-inspired continuous wearable respiration sensor modeled after the lateral line system of fish which is used for detecting mechanical disturbances in the water. Despite the clinical importance of monitoring respiratory activity in humans and animals, continuous measurements of breathing patterns and rates are rarely performed in or outside of clinics. This is largely because conventional sensors are too inconvenient or expensive for wearable sensing for most individuals and animals. The bio-inspired air-silicone composite transducer is placed on the chest and measures respiratory activity by continuously measuring the force applied to an air channel embedded inside a silicone-based elastomeric material. The force applied on the surface of the transducer during breathing changes the air pressure inside the channel, which is measured using a commercial pressure sensor and mixed-signal wireless electronics. We extensively characterized the transducer produced in this work and tested it with humans, dogs, and laboratory rats. The bio-inspired air-silicone composite transducer may enable the early detection of a range of disorders that result in altered patterns of respiration. The technology reported can also be combined with artificial intelligence and cloud computing to algorithmically detect illness in humans and animals remotely, reducing unnecessary visits to clinics. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Bioinspired sensors; Respiration monitoring; Stretchable materials; Wearable sensors for humans and animals; Wireless sensors
  11. ACS Nano. 2022 Jun 22.
      Globular folded proteins are versatile nanoscale building blocks to create biomaterials with mechanical robustness and inherent biological functionality due to their specific and well-defined folded structures. Modulating the nanoscale unfolding of protein building blocks during network formation (in situ protein unfolding) provides potent opportunities to control the protein network structure and mechanics. Here, we control protein unfolding during the formation of hydrogels constructed from chemically cross-linked maltose binding protein using ligand binding and the addition of cosolutes to modulate protein kinetic and thermodynamic stability. Bulk shear rheology characterizes the storage moduli of the bound and unbound protein hydrogels and reveals a correlation between network rigidity, characterized as an increase in the storage modulus, and protein thermodynamic stability. Furthermore, analysis of the network relaxation behavior identifies a crossover from an unfolding dominated regime to an entanglement dominated regime. Control of in situ protein unfolding and entanglement provides an important route to finely tune the architecture, mechanics, and dynamic relaxation of protein hydrogels. Such predictive control will be advantageous for future smart biomaterials for applications which require responsive and dynamic modulation of mechanical properties and biological function.
    Keywords:  bioinspired; biomimetic; chemical responsive hydrogel; entanglement; protein unfolding; protein-hydrogel; rheology
  12. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Jun 28. 119(26): e2116738119
      Tumor infiltration by T cells profoundly affects cancer progression and responses to immunotherapy. However, the tumor immunosuppressive microenvironment can impair the induction, trafficking, and local activity of antitumor T cells. Here, we investigated whether intratumoral injection of virus-derived peptide epitopes could activate preexisting antiviral T cell responses locally and promote antitumor responses or antigen spreading. We focused on a mouse model of cytomegalovirus (CMV), a highly prevalent human infection that induces vigorous and durable T cell responses. Mice persistently infected with murine CMV (MCMV) were challenged with lung (TC-1), colon (MC-38), or melanoma (B16-F10) tumor cells. Intratumoral injection of MCMV-derived T cell epitopes triggered in situ and systemic expansion of their cognate, MCMV-specific CD4+ or CD8+ T cells. The MCMV CD8+ T cell epitopes injected alone provoked arrest of tumor growth and some durable remissions. Intratumoral injection of MCMV CD4+ T cell epitopes with polyinosinic acid:polycytidylic acid (pI:C) preferentially elicited tumor antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, promoted tumor clearance, and conferred long-term protection against tumor rechallenge. Notably, secondary proliferation of MCMV-specific CD8+ T cells correlated with better tumor control. Importantly, intratumoral injection of MCMV-derived CD8+ T cell-peptide epitopes alone or CD4+ T cell-peptide epitopes with pI:C induced potent adaptive and innate immune activation of the tumor microenvironment. Thus, CMV-derived peptide epitopes, delivered intratumorally, act as cytotoxic and immunotherapeutic agents to promote immediate tumor control and long-term antitumor immunity that could be used as a stand-alone therapy. The tumor antigen-agnostic nature of this approach makes it applicable across a broad range of solid tumors regardless of their origin.
    Keywords:  antigen spreading; antiviral immunity; cytomegalovirus; intratumoral immunotherapy; tumor microenvironment
  13. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2022 Jun 23.
      Herein, we develop a novel bacteria-based drug delivery system, termed as the Trojan nanobacteria system, which is made of nanoagents internalized into engineered bacteria through bacteria-specific maltodextrin (MD) transporters. Compared with the system of attaching nanoagents to bacterial surfaces, the presented Trojan system features higher payloads and better stability. In cancer therapy, Trojan nanobacteria can specifically discriminate the tumor region and then penetrate deep tumor tissues. Afterwards, Trojan nanobacteria systems are able to destroy deep tumor tissues, which is due to the synergistic effects of antitumor protein ( e.g., tumor necrosis factor-α, TNF-α) expression and photothermal properties.
    Keywords:  Trojan nanobacteria; drug delivery; photothermal therapy; tumor
  14. Chem Sci. 2022 Jun 01. 13(21): 6303-6308
      Phase separation in cell membranes promotes the assembly of transmembrane receptors to initiate signal transduction in response to environmental cues. Many cellular behaviors are manipulated by promoting membrane phase separation through binding to multivalent extracellular ligands. However, available extracellular molecule tools that enable manipulating the clustering of transmembrane receptors in a controllable manner are rare. In the present study, we report a DNA nanodevice that enhances membrane phase separation through the clustering of dynamic lipid rafts. This DNA nanodevice is anchored in the lipid raft region of the cell membrane and initiated by ATP. In a tumor microenvironment, this device could be activated to form a long DNA duplex on the cell membrane, which not only enhances membrane phase separation, but also blocks the interaction between the transmembrane surface adhesion receptor and extracellular matrix, leading to reduced migration. We demonstrate that the ATP-activated DNA nanodevice could inhibit cancer cell migration both in vitro and in vivo. The concept of using DNA to regulate membrane phase separation provides new possibilities for manipulating versatile cell functions through rational design of functional DNA structures.
  15. Nano Lett. 2022 Jun 21.
      We provide an effective method to create DNA nanostructures below 100 nm with defined charge patterns and explore whether the density and location of charges affect the cellular uptake efficiency of nanoparticles (NPs). To avoid spontaneous charge neutralization, the negatively charged polymer nanopatterns were first created by in situ polymerization using photoresponsive monomers on DNA origami. Subsequent irradiation generated positive charges on the immobilized polymers, achieving precise positively charged patterns on the negatively charged DNA surface. Via this method, we have discovered that the positive charges located on the edges of nanostructures facilitate more efficient cellular uptake in comparison to the central counterparts. In addition, the high-density positive charge decoration could also enhance particle penetration into 3D multicellular spheroids. This strategy paves a new way to construct elaborate charge-separated substructures on NP surfaces and holds great promise for a deeper understanding of the influence between the surface charge distribution and nano-bio interactions.
    Keywords:  DNA origami; charge patterns; in situ polymerization; nano-bio interactions
  16. Nat Commun. 2022 Jun 21. 13(1): 3545
      Pancreatic β cell dysfunction contributes to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. MiR-21 has been shown to be induced in the islets of glucose intolerant patients and type 2 diabetic mice. However, the role of miR-21 in the regulation of pancreatic β cell function remains largely elusive. In the current study, we identify the pathway by which miR-21 regulates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion utilizing mice lacking miR-21 in their β cells (miR-21βKO). We find that miR-21βKO mice develop glucose intolerance due to impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Mechanistic studies reveal that miR-21 enhances glucose uptake and subsequently promotes insulin secretion by up-regulating Glut2 expression in a miR-21-Pdcd4-AP-1 dependent pathway. Over-expression of Glut2 in knockout islets results in rescue of the impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Furthermore, we demonstrate that delivery of miR-21 into the pancreas of type 2 diabetic db/db male mice is able to promote Glut2 expression and reduce blood glucose level. Taking together, our results reveal that miR-21 in islet β cell promotes insulin secretion and support a role for miR-21 in the regulation of pancreatic β cell function in type 2 diabetes.
  17. ACS Nano. 2022 Jun 17.
      Sonodynamic therapy (SDT) has garnered extensive attention as a noninvasive treatment for deep tumors. Furthermore, imiquimod (R837), an FDA-approved toll-like receptor 7 agonist, is commonly used in clinical settings as an immune adjuvant. We prepared an activatable sonodynamic sensitizer platform (MR) based on glutathione-sensitive disulfide bonds linking Leu-MB, the reduced form of methylene blue (MB), and R837 to achieve efficient combinatory SDT and immunotherapy for tumors without harming normal tissues. We also used the amphiphilic polymer C18PMH-PEG to create self-assembled MB-R837-PEG (MRP) nanoparticles for immunosonodynamic therapy (iSDT). iSDT is a cancer treatment that combines activatable SDT and immunotherapy. Our iSDT demonstrated an excellent sonodynamic effect only at the tumor site, demonstrating high specificity in killing tumor cells when compared to SDT reported in the literature. The iSDT improves its tumor-killing effect by inducing an immune response, which is accomplished by secreted immune adjuvants in the tumor site. MRP was selectively activated by glutathione in the tumor microenvironment to release MB and R837, exhibiting excellent antitumor sonodynamic and immune responses. In addition, when combined with an α-PD-L1 antibody for immune checkpoint blockade, this therapy effectively inhibited tumor metastasis. Furthermore, mice treated with iSDT and α-PD-L1 antibody did not develop tumors even after tumor reinoculation, indicating that long-term immune memory was achieved. The concept of sonodynamic sensitizer preparation as a next-generation iSDT based on a noninvasive synergistic therapeutic modality applicable in the near future is presented in this study.
    Keywords:  combined therapy; glutathione (GSH); immune checkpoint blockade; immunosonodynamic therapy (iSDT); tumor microenvironment (TME)
  18. Clin Transl Oncol. 2022 Jun 21.
      MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA sequences that act as post-transcriptional regulatory genes to control many cellular processes through pairing bases with a complementary messenger RNA (mRNA). A single miRNA molecule can regulate more than 200 different transcripts and the same mRNA can be regulated by multiple miRNAs. In this review, we highlight the importance of miRNAs and collect the existing evidence on their relationship with kidney cancer.
    Keywords:  Kidney cancer; Renal cancer; miRNA; microRNA