bims-drudre Biomed News
on Targeted drug delivery and programmed release mechanisms
Issue of 2022‒07‒31
fifteen papers selected by
Ceren Kimna
Technical University of Munich

  1. Nat Protoc. 2022 Jul 25.
      Here we present a protocol for the construction and use of two types of nanocarrier based on bacterial membrane materials for cancer vaccine delivery. Cancer vaccines induce tumor regression through triggering the specific T-cell responses against tumor neoantigens, a process that can be enhanced by nanocarrier delivery. Inspired by the body's natural immune defenses against bacterial invasion, we have developed two different types of nanocarrier based on bacterial membrane materials, which employ genetically engineered outer-membrane vesicles (OMVs), or hybrid membrane vesicles containing bacterial cytoplasmic membrane, respectively. The OMV-based nanocarriers can rapidly display different tumor antigens through the surface modified Plug-and-Display system, suitable for customized cancer vaccines when the tumor neoantigens can be identified. The hybrid membrane-based nanocarriers are prepared through fusion of the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane and the primary tumor cell membrane from surgically removed tumor tissues, possessing unique advantages as personalized cancer vaccines when the neoantigens are not readily available. Compared with chemically synthesized nanocarriers such as liposomes and polymer without intrinsic adjuvant properties, owing to the large amounts of pathogen-associated molecular patterns, the two nanocarriers can activate the antigen-presenting cells while delivering multiple antigens, thus inducing effective antigen presentation and robust adaptive immune activation. Excluding bacterial culture and tumor tissue collection, the preparation of OMV- and hybrid membrane-based nanocarriers takes ~8 h and 10 h for tumor vaccine construction, respectively. We also detail how to use these nanocarriers to create cancer nanovaccines and evaluate their immunostimulatory and antitumor effects.
  2. Adv Mater. 2022 Jul 28. e2204287
      MicroRNA (miR)-based therapy shows strong potential; however, structural limitations pose a challenge in fully exploiting its biomedical functionality. Tetrahedral framework DNA (tFNA) has proven to be an ideal vehicle for miR therapy. Inspired by the ancient Chinese myth "Sun and Immortal Birds," a novel bioswitchable miR inhibitor delivery system (BiRDS) is designed with three miR inhibitors (the three immortal birds) and a nucleic acid core (the central sun). The BiRDS fuses miR inhibitors within the framework, maximizing their loading capacity, while allowing the system to retain the characteristics of small-sized tFNA and avoiding uncertainty associated with RNA exposure in traditional loading protocols. The RNase H-responsive sequence at the tail of each "immortal bird" enables the BiRDS to transform from a 3D to a 2D structure upon entering cells, promoting the delivery of miR inhibitors. To confirm the application potential, the BiRDS is used to deliver the miR-31 inhibitor, with antiaging effects on hair follicle stem cells, into a skin aging model. Superior skin penetration ability and RNA delivery are observed with significant anti-aging effects. These findings demonstrate the capability and editability of the BiRDS to improve the stability and delivery efficacy of miRs for future innovations.
    Keywords:  DNA nanotechnology; aging; drug delivery; framework nucleic acid; microRNAs
  3. Nanomedicine. 2022 Jul 25. pii: S1549-9634(22)00071-5. [Epub ahead of print] 102585
      Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) of Escherichia coli as nanoscale spherical vesicles have been recently used in cancer therapy as drug carriers. However, most of them need complicated methods to load cargos. Herein, we proposed an inexpensive and potentially mass-produced method for the preparation of OMV engineered with over-expressed pre-miRNA. In this work, we found that OMV can be released and inherit over-expressed tRNALys-pre-miRNA from mother E. coli that directly used for the tumor therapy. The eukaryotic cells infection experiments revealed that the over-expressed pre-miRNA inside OMV could be released and processed into mature miRNAs with the aid of the camouflage of "tRNA scaffold". Moreover, the group in vivo treated with targeted OMVtRNA-pre-miR-126 obviously inhibited the expression of target oncogenic CXCR4, and significantly restrain the proliferation of breast cancer tissues. Together, these findings indicated that the OMV-based platform is a versatile and powerful strategy for personalized tumor therapy directly and specificity.
    Keywords:  CXCR4; Escherichia coli OMV; Pre-miRNA; Tumor therapy; tRNA
  4. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 25. 13(1): 4282
      Lipid nanoparticles hold great potential as an effective non-viral vector for nucleic acid-based gene therapy. Plasmid DNA delivery can result in extended transgene expression compared to mRNA-based technologies, yet there is a lack of systematic investigation into lipid nanoparticle compositions for plasmid DNA delivery. Here, we report a multi-step screening platform to identify optimized plasmid DNA lipid nanoparticles for liver-targeted transgene expression. To achieve this, we analyze the role of different helper lipids and component ratios in plasmid DNA lipid nanoparticle-mediated gene delivery in vitro and in vivo. Compared to mRNA LNPs and in vivo-jetPEI/DNA nanoparticles, the identified plasmid DNA lipid nanoparticles successfully deliver transgenes and mediate prolonged expression in the liver following intravenous administration in mice. By addressing different physiological barriers in a stepwise manner, this screening platform can efficiently down select effective lipid nanoparticle candidates from a lipid nanoparticle library of over 1000 formulations. In addition, we substantially extend the duration of plasmid DNA nanoparticle-mediated transgene expression using a DNA/siRNA co-delivery approach that targets transcription factors regulating inflammatory response pathways. This lipid nanoparticle-based co-delivery strategy further highlights the unique advantages of an extended transgene expression profile using plasmid DNA delivery and offers new opportunities for DNA-based gene medicine applications.
  5. Nature. 2022 Jul 27.
      Biological processes depend on the differential expression of genes over time, but methods to make physical recordings of these processes are limited. Here we report a molecular system for making time-ordered recordings of transcriptional events into living genomes. We do this through engineered RNA barcodes, based on prokaryotic retrons1, that are reverse transcribed into DNA and integrated into the genome using the CRISPR-Cas system2. The unidirectional integration of barcodes by CRISPR integrases enables reconstruction of transcriptional event timing based on a physical record through simple, logical rules rather than relying on pretrained classifiers or post hoc inferential methods. For disambiguation in the field, we will refer to this system as a Retro-Cascorder.
  6. Science. 2022 Jul 29. 377(6605): 502-511
      Approximately half of glioblastoma and more than two-thirds of grade II and III glioma tumors lack the DNA repair protein O6-methylguanine methyl transferase (MGMT). MGMT-deficient tumors respond initially to the DNA methylation agent temozolomide (TMZ) but frequently acquire resistance through loss of the mismatch repair (MMR) pathway. We report the development of agents that overcome this resistance mechanism by inducing MMR-independent cell killing selectively in MGMT-silenced tumors. These agents deposit a dynamic DNA lesion that can be reversed by MGMT but slowly evolves into an interstrand cross-link in MGMT-deficient settings, resulting in MMR-independent cell death with low toxicity in vitro and in vivo. This discovery may lead to new treatments for gliomas and may represent a new paradigm for designing chemotherapeutics that exploit specific DNA repair defects.
  7. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 26. 13(1): 4318
      PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras (PROTACs) has been exploited to degrade putative protein targets. However, the antitumor performance of PROTACs is impaired by their insufficient tumour distribution. Herein, we present de novo designed polymeric PROTAC (POLY-PROTAC) nanotherapeutics for tumour-specific protein degradation. The POLY-PROTACs are engineered by covalently grafting small molecular PROTACs onto the backbone of an amphiphilic diblock copolymer via the disulfide bonds. The POLY-PROTACs self-assemble into micellar nanoparticles and sequentially respond to extracellular matrix metalloproteinase-2, intracellular acidic and reductive tumour microenvironment. The POLY-PROTAC NPs are further functionalized with azide groups for bioorthogonal click reaction-amplified PROTAC delivery to the tumour tissue. For proof-of-concept, we demonstrate that tumour-specific BRD4 degradation with the bioorthogonal POLY-PROTAC nanoplatform combine with photodynamic therapy efficiently regress tumour xenografts in a mouse model of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer. This study suggests the potential of the POLY-PROTACs for precise protein degradation and PROTAC-based cancer therapy.
  8. Nano Lett. 2022 Jul 28.
      DNA-assembled multiaptamer systems have been demonstrated to significantly promote the aptamer capacity of binding cell-surface-expressed proteins. However, how to conveniently harness them for efficient transmembrane delivery of targets remains a challenge. Toward this goal, here we engineer a G-quadruplex-proximized aptamer (G4PA) system in which a DNA aptamer specific for transferrin receptor (TfR) is guided by a bimolecular G4 and assembles into a dimerized proximity form that well matches homodimeric TfR highly expressed on the cancer cell surface. This system displays a higher capacity for targeting cell-surface TfR than the monomeric aptamer and super transmembrane transportation of nucleic acid cargoes, which is comparable to that of conventional liposome transfection but overcomes the lack of targeting ability of the latter. The G4PA system is then applied to the targeted delivery of siRNA for PLK1 gene silencing in positive cells rather than negative controls, showing great promise for use in precise anticancer therapy.
    Keywords:  G-quadruplex; aptamer; gene silencing; targeted drug delivery; transferrin receptor (TfR)
  9. ACS Nano. 2022 Jul 25.
      Precise subcellular manipulation remains challenging in quantitative biological studies. After target modification and hierarchical assembly, nanoparticles can be functionalized for intracellular investigation. However, it remains unclear whether nanoparticles themselves can progressively manipulate subcellular processes, especially organellar networks. Mitochondria act as the energetic supply, whose fission dynamics are often modulated by molecular reagents. Here, using different-sized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) as a model, we demonstrated the nanoparticle-driven controllable regulation on mitochondria. Compared with molecular reagents, AuNPs could induce size-dependent mitochondrial fission without detectable cell injury, and this process was reversible along with intracellular AuNPs' clearance. Mechanistically, it was attributed to the AuNPs-induced enhanced organelle interactome between lysosomes and mitochondria. Lysosomal accumulation of AuNPs induced lysosomal swelling and lysosomal motility alterations, promoting mitochondrial fission through the increased "kiss" events during the "kiss-and-run" moving of the lysosome-mitochondria interactome. This study highlights the fundamental understanding to fully explore the intrinsic capability of nanoparticles by engineering their basic properties. Also, it provides practical guidance to investigate the delicate nanolevel regulation on biological processes.
    Keywords:  gold nanoparticle; lysosome; mitochondria; organelle interactome; size dependence
  10. ACS Nano. 2022 Jul 26.
      Cancer immunotherapy efficacy is largely limited by the suppressive tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) where antitumor immune cells are inhibited and tumor antigens continue to mutate or be lost. To remodel the TIME, we here applied weakly alkaline layered double hydroxide nanoparticles (LDH NPs) to neutralize the excess acid and block autophagy of tumor cells for neoadjuvant cancer immunotherapy. Peritumoral injection of LDH NPs provided a long-term and efficient acid-neutralization in the TIME, blocked the lysosome-mediated autophagy pathway in tumor cells, and increased the levels of antitumor tumor-associated macrophages and T cells. These LDH NPs captured tumor antigens released in the tumor tissues and effectively inhibited the growth of both melanoma and colon tumors in vivo. These findings indicate that LDH NPs, as an immunomodulator and adjuvant, successfully "awaken" and promote the host innate and adaptive immune systems, showing promising potential for solid tumor immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  acidosis; cancer immunotherapy; layered double hydroxide nanoparticles; tumor cell apoptosis; tumor immune microenvironment
  11. Adv Funct Mater. 2021 Jul 02. pii: 2010918. [Epub ahead of print]31(27):
      Natural microbial sensing circuits can be rewired into new gene networks to build living sensors that detect and respond to disease-associated biomolecules. However, synthetic living sensors, once ingested, are cleared from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract within 48 hours; retaining devices in the intestinal lumen is prone to intestinal blockage or device migration. To localize synthetic microbes and safely extend their residence in the GI tract for health monitoring and sustained drug release, an ingestible magnetic hydrogel carrier is developed to transport diagnostic microbes to specific intestinal sites. The magnetic living hydrogel is localized and retained by attaching a magnet to the abdominal skin, resisting the peristaltic waves in the intestine. The device retention is validated in a human intestinal phantom and an in vivo rodent model, showing that the ingestible hydrogel maintains the integrated living bacteria for up to seven days, which allows the detection of heme for GI bleeding in the harsh environment of the gut. The retention of microelectronics is also demonstrated by incorporating a temperature sensor into the magnetic hydrogel carrier.
    Keywords:  blood sensor; ingestible materials; intestinal retention; magnetic hydrogels; synthetic biology
  12. Adv Mater. 2022 Jul 28. e2203354
      Here, we propose a new theoretical framework that enables the use of Differential Dynamic Microscopy (DDM) in fluorescence imaging mode to quantify in situ protein adsorption onto nanoparticles (NP) while simultaneously monitoring for NP aggregation. We use this methodology to elucidate the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of the protein corona (PC) in vitro and in vivo. Our results show that protein adsorption triggers particle aggregation over a wide concentration range and that the formed aggregate structures can be quantified using the proposed methodology. Protein affinity for polystyrene (PS) NPs was observed to be dependent on particle concentration. For complex protein mixtures, our methodology identifies that the PC composition changes with the dilution of serum proteins, demonstrating a Vroman effect never quantitatively assessed in situ on NPs. Finally, DDM allows monitoring of the evolution of the PC in vivo. Our results show that the PC composition evolves significantly over time in zebrafish larvae, confirming the inherently dynamic nature of the PC. The performance of the developed methodology allowed to obtain quantitative insights into nano-bio interactions in a vast array of physiologically relevant conditions that will serve to further improve the design of nanomedicine. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  bio-nano interactions; differential dynamic microscopy; in vivo quantification; protein corona; vroman effect
  13. Transl Oncol. 2022 Jul 26. pii: S1936-5233(22)00136-X. [Epub ahead of print]24 101477
      Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-) T cells are revolutionizing cancer treatment, as a direct result of their clinical impact on the treatment of hematological malignancies. However for solid tumors, CAR-T cell therapeutic efficacy remains limited, primarily due to the complex immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, inefficient access to tumor cells and poor persistence of the killer cells. In this in vitro study, an injectable, gelatin-based micro-hydrogel system that can encapsulate and deliver effective CAR-T therapy is investigated. CAR-T cells targeting TAG-72, encapsulated in these microgels possessed high viability (> 87%) after 7 days, equivalent to those grown under normal expansion conditions, with retention of the T cell phenotype and functionality. Microgel recovered CAR-T cells demonstrated potent on-target cytotoxicity against human ovarian cancer in vitro and on three-dimensional tumor spheroids, by completely eliminating tumor cells. The gelatin-based micro-hydrogels have the potential to serve as carrier systems to augment CAR-T immunotherapeutic treatment of solid tumors.
    Keywords:  CAR-T cells; Cell delivery; Cell encapsulation; Immunotherapy; Microgels; Tumor spheroids
  14. Biomater Adv. 2022 Jul 08. pii: S2772-9508(22)00299-0. [Epub ahead of print]139 213022
      The intestinal mucus is a biological barrier that supports the intestinal microbiota growth and filters molecules. To perform these functions, mucus possesses optimized microstructure and viscoelastic properties and it is steadily replenished thus flowing along the gut. The available in vitro intestinal mucus models are useful tools in investigating the microbiota-human cells interaction, and are used as matrices for bacterial culture or as static component of microfluidic devices like gut-on-chips. The aim of this work is to engineer an in vitro mucus models (I-Bac3Gel) addressing in a single system physiological viscoelastic properties (i.e., 2-200 Pa), 3D structure and suitability for dynamic bacterial culture. Homogeneously crosslinked alginate hydrogels are optimized in composition to obtain target viscoelastic and microstructural properties. Then, rheological tests are exploited to assess a priori the hydrogels capability to withstand the flow dynamic condition. We experimentally assess the suitability of I-Bac3Gels in the evolving field of microfluidics by applying a dynamic flow to a bacterial-loaded mucus model and by monitoring E. coli growth and survival. The engineered models represent a step forward in the modelling of the mucus, since they can answer to different urgent needs such as a 3D structure, bioinspired properties and compatibility with dynamic system.
    Keywords:  Alginate; Dynamic culture; E. coli; Gut; Gut-on-chip; Mesh size; Microbiota; Rheology; Shear rate; bacteria incapsulation
  15. Biomater Adv. 2022 Jun 25. pii: S2772-9508(22)00278-3. [Epub ahead of print]139 213001
      A composite microneedle patch (MN patch) is developed for oral transmucosal administration. To improve the oral transmucosal drug delivery efficiency, the composite MN patch is designed to consist of an array of 100 dissolvable microneedles (MNs) with drug-loaded tips and a backing layer. The MNs are composed of two parts, the hyaluronic acid (HA) tip part and the polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) base part. Due to the small size and sufficient mechanical strength, the HA-PVP MNs can painlessly penetrate the oral mucosa barrier and deliver drugs directly to the basal layer or submucosa. Betamethasone sodium phosphate (BSP), as the model drug, is concentrated in the HA tip parts to avoid the drug waste caused by mucosa elasticity. Considering the special moist environment and saliva flow in the mouth, a double-layer backing layer composed of a poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) adhesive layer and an ethyl cellulose (EC) waterproof layer is designed and constructed, which could reduce the saliva flow effects. The in vitro and in vivo results demonstrate that the MN patch could achieve rapid and efficient BSP release in oral mucosa due to the rapid dissolution of HA. The proposed MN patch provides a novel strategy for the therapy of oral mucosal diseases.
    Keywords:  Dissolvable microneedles; Hyaluronic acid; Local treatment; Microneedle patches; Oral mucosal diseases; Transmucosal drug delivery