Characterization of CD44-mediated cancer cell uptake and intracellular distribution of hyaluronan-grafted liposomes.
ABSTRACT: Hyaluronan (HA) is a biocompatible and biodegradable linear polysaccharide which is of interest for tumor targeting through cell surface CD44 receptors. HA binds with high affinity to CD44 receptors, which are overexpressed in many tumors and involved in cancer metastasis. In the present study, we investigated the impact of HA molecular weight (MW), grafting density, and CD44 receptor density on endocytosis of HA-grafted liposomes (HA-liposomes) by cancer cells. Additionally, the intracellular localization of the HA-liposomes was determined. HAs of different MWs (5-8, 10-12, 175-350, and 1600 kDa) were conjugated to liposomes with varying degrees of grafting density. HA surface density was quantified using the hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide turbidimetric method. Cellular uptake and subcellular localization of HA-liposomes were evaluated by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. Mean particle sizes of HA-liposomes ranged from 120 to 180 nm and increased with increasing size of HA. HA-liposome uptake correlated with HA MW (5-8 < 10-12 < 175-350 kDa), grafting density, and CD44 receptor density and exceeded that obtained with unconjugated plain liposomes. HA-liposomes were taken up into cells via lipid raft-mediated endocytosis, which is both energy- and cholesterol-dependent. Once within cells, HA-liposomes localized primarily to endosomes and lysosomes. The results demonstrate that cellular targeting efficiency of HA-liposomes depends strongly upon HA MW, grafting density, and cell surface receptor CD44 density. The results support a role of HA-liposomes for targeted drug delivery.
Project description:Hyaluronan-grafted liposomes (HA-liposomes) preferentially target CD44-overexpressing tumor cells in vitro via receptor-mediated endocytosis. We investigated the pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of HA-liposomes with various sizes of HA (MW 5-8, 50-60, and 175-350 kDa) in mice. Incorporation of negatively charged HA on the liposome surface compromised its blood circulation time, which led to decreased tumor accumulation in CD44+ human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 xenografts compared to PEGylated liposomes (PEG-5000). Clearance of HA-liposomes was HA polymer length-dependent; high MW (175-350 kDa, highest ligand binding affinity) HA-liposomes displayed faster clearance compared to low MW (5-8, 50-60 kDa) HA-liposomes or PEGylated liposomes. Surface HA ligand density can also affect clearance of HA-liposomes. Thus, HA is not an effective stealth coating material. When dual coating of PEG and HA was used, the PEG-HA-liposomes displayed similar blood circulation time and tumor accumulation to that of the PEGylated liposomes; however, the PEG-HA-liposomes displayed better cellular internalization capability in vivo. Tumor histology showed that PEG-HA-liposomes had a more direct association with CD44+ cancer cells, while PEGylated liposomes located predominantly in the tumor periphery, with less association with CD44+ cells. Flow cytometry analysis of ex vivo tumor cells showed that PEG-HA-liposomes had significantly higher tumor cell internalization compared to PEGylated liposomes. This study demonstrates that a long blood circulation time is critical for active tumor targeting. Furthermore, the use of the tumor-targeting ligand HA does not increase total tumor accumulation of actively targeted liposomes in solid tumors; however, it can enhance intracellular delivery.
Project description:Collagen Tissue Disease-associated Interstitial Lung Fibrosis (CTD-ILDs) and Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome (BOS) represent severe lung fibrogenic disorders, characterized by fibro-proliferation with uncontrolled extracellular matrix deposition. Hyaluronic acid (HA) plays a key role in fibrosis with its specific receptor, CD44, overexpressed by CTD-ILD and BOS cells. The aim is to use HA-liposomes to develop an inhalatory treatment for these diseases. Liposomes with HA of two molecular weights were prepared and characterized. Targeting efficiency was assessed toward CTD-ILD and BOS cells by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy and immune modulation by RT-PCR and ELISA techniques. HA-liposomes were internalized by CTD-ILD and BOS cells expressing CD44, and this effect increased with higher HA MW. In THP-1 cells, HA-liposomes decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-12, and anti-fibrotic VEGF transcripts but increased TGF-β mRNA. However, upon analyzing TGF-β release from healthy donors-derived monocytes, we found liposomes did not alter the release of active pro-fibrotic cytokine. All liposomes induced mild activation of neutrophils regardless of the presence of HA. HA liposomes could be also applied for lung fibrotic diseases, being endowed with low pro-inflammatory activity, and results confirmed that higher MW HA are associated to an increased targeting efficiency for CD44 expressing LFs-derived from BOS and CTD-ILD patients.
Project description:Although it is reported that the targeting ability of hyaluronic acid (HA)-based nanoparticles (NPs) is molecular weight (MW) dependent, the influence of HA MW on targeting efficiency of HA-functionalized NPs and the underlying mechanism remain elusive. In this study, we constituted three HA-functionalized Dox-loaded NPs (Dox/HCVs) different HA MWs (7, 63, and 102?kDa) and attempted to illustrate the effects of HA MW on the targeting efficiency. The three Dox/HCVs had similar physiochemical and pharmaceutical characteristics, but showed different affinity to CD44 receptor. Furthermore, Dox/HCV-63 exerted the best targeting effect and the highest cytotoxicity compared with Dox/HCV-7 and Dox/HCV-102. It was interesting to found that both the HA-CD44 binding affinity and induced CD44 clustering by HA-based NPs were HA MW-dependent, the two of which determine the apparent targeting efficacy of Dox/HCV NPs in the conflicting directions. Those results laid a good foundation for rationally designing HA-based NPs in cancer therapy.
Project description:We report that receptor mediated transcytosis can be utilized to facilitate tumor penetration by drug loaded nanoparticles (NPs). We synthesized hyaluronan (HA) coated silica nanoparticles (SNPs) containing a highly fluorescent core to target CD44 expressed on the cancer cell surface. Although prior studies have primarily focused on CD44 mediated endocytosis to facilitate cellular uptake of HA-NPs by cancer cells, we discovered that, once internalized, the HA-SNPs could be transported out of the cells with their cargo. The exported NPs could be taken up by neighboring cells. This enabled the HA-SNPs to penetrate deeper inside tumors and reach a much greater number of tumor cells in 3D tumor models, presumably through tandem cycles of CD44 mediated endocytosis and exocytosis. When doxorubicin (DOX) was loaded onto the NPs, better penetration of multilayered tumor cells was observed with much improved cytotoxicities against both drug sensitive and drug resistant cancer spheroids compared to the free drug. Thus, targeting receptors such as CD44 that can readily undergo recycling between the cell surface and interior of the cells can become a useful strategy to enhance the tumor penetration potential of NPs and the efficiency of drug delivery through receptor mediated transcytosis.
Project description:Fluorescent imaging agents that can specifically highlight tumor cells could have a significant impact on image-guided tumor removal. Here, fluorescent nanoparticles (NPs) derived from hyaluronic acid (HA) are investigated. HA is a ligand for the receptor CD44, which is a common biomarker present on many primary tumor cells, cancer-initiating cells, and tumor-associated fibroblasts. In addition, a family of enzymes that degrade HA, called hyaluronidases (HYALs), are also overexpressed with increased activity in many tumors. We report the design and development of a panel of targeted imaging agents using the near-infrared (NIR) dye, Cy7.5, that was directly conjugated to hydrophobically-modified HA. Two different molecular weights of HA, 10kDa and 100kDa, and three different degrees of hydrophobic moiety conjugation (0, 10, and 30mol%) were utilized to develop a panel of NPs with variable size that ranged from 50 to 400nm hydrodynamic diameter (HD) depending HA molecular weight, extent of fluorescence quenching (25-50%), kinetics of cellular uptake, and targeting to CD44+ cells. The kinetics and energy-dependence of cellular uptake in breast and prostate cancer cell lines, MDA-MB 231 and PC-3 cells, respectively, showed increased uptake with longer incubation times (at 4 and 8h compared to 1h), as well as uptake at 37°C but not 4°C, which indicated energy-dependent endocytosis. NP uptake studies in the presence of excess free HA showed that pre-treatment of cells with excess high molecular weight (MW) free HA decreased NP uptake by up to 50%, while no such trend was observed with low MW HA. These data lay the foundation for selection of optimized HA-derived NPs for image-guided surgery.Here, hyaluronic acid (HA), a well-studied biomacromolecule, is modified with a near infrared fluorophore and a hydrophobic moiety. The significance of this work, especially for imaging applications, is that the impact of HA molecular weight and the hydrophobic moiety conjugation degree on fluorescence and cell interaction can be predicted. With respect to existing literature, the eventual use of these HA-based NPs is image-guided surgery; thus, we focus on the dye, Cy7.5, for conjugation, which is more NIR than most existing HA literature. Furthermore, HA is a ligand for CD44, which is associated with cancer and tumor microenvironment cells. Systematic studies in this work highlight that HA can be tuned to maximize or minimize CD44 binding.
Project description:We recently purified the rat liver hyaluronan receptor for endocytosis (HARE) and found abundant expression of 175- and approximately 300-kDa HARE species in sinusoidal endothelial cells of the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. We report herein the first cloning and functional expression of the rat 175-kDa HARE. Peptide sequences were obtained from the purified 175-kDa HARE, and degenerate oligonucleotide primers were designed for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and cDNA cloning. Results of 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends, Northern analysis, N-terminal sequence, and antibody reactivity analyses indicated the absence of mRNA directly encoding the 175-kDa HARE. This protein is most likely derived from a larger precursor. Accordingly, we constructed an artificial 4.7-kb cDNA encoding the 1431 amino acid 175-kDa HARE. The predicted type I membrane protein has a mass of 156,393 Da and a pI of 7.86. The 175-kDa HARE cDNA, fused to the N-terminal leader sequence of the Ig kappa-chain, was transfected transiently into COS-7 cells and stably into SK-Hep-1 cells, respectively, to assess hyaluronan or hyaluronic acid (HA)-binding activity and endocytosis. In both cases, HARE expression and HA-binding activity were detected. Furthermore, stable SK-175HARE cells demonstrated specific endocytosis of (125)I-HA and receptor recycling. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis confirmed that recombinant HARE was expressed on the cell surface and that fluorescent HA uptake was inhibited by a specific blocking monoclonal antibody against HARE. Additionally, HARE was substantially colocalized with clathrin, but not with internalized HA that was delivered to lysosomes. The results confirm that recombinant 175-kDa HARE is an authentic endocytic receptor for HA and that this receptor can function independently of the approximately 300-kDa HARE. HARE is the first functionally identified member of a protein family that shares a similar organization of Fasciclin, epidermal growth factor-like, Xlink, and transmembrane domains.
Project description:For targeted delivery with nanoparticles (NPs) as drug carriers, it is imperative that the NPs are internalized into the targeted cell. Surface properties of NPs influence their interactions with cells. We examined the responses of retinal pigment epithelial cells, NIH 3T3 fibroblast cells, and Chinese hamster ovary cells to gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) in their nascent form as well as coated with end-thiolated hyaluronate (HS-HA). The grafting density of HS-HA on Au NPs was calculated based on total organic carbon measurements and thermal gravimetric analysis. We imaged the intracellular NPs by 3D confocal microscopy. We quantified viability and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) of the cells to Au NPs and monitored cell-surface attachment via electrical cell-substrate impedance sensing. The results confirmed that receptors on cell surfaces, for HA, are critical in internalizing HS-HA-Au NPs, and HA may mitigate ROS pathways known to lead to cell death. The 50- and 100-nm HS-HA-Au NPs were able to enter the cells; however, their nascent forms could not. This study shows that the delivery of larger Au NPs is enhanced with HS-HA coating and illustrates the potential of HA-coated NPs as a drug delivery agent for inflamed, proliferating, and cancer cells that express CD44 receptors.
Project description:Nanoparticles (NPs) are being extensively studied as carriers for drug delivery, but they often have limited penetration inside tumors. We envision that by targeting an endocytic receptor on the cell surface, the uptake of NPs can be significantly enhanced through receptor mediated endocytosis. In addition, if the receptor is recycled to the cell surface, the NP cargo can be transported out of the cells, which is then taken up by neighboring cells thus enhancing solid tumor penetration. To validate our hypothesis, in the first of two articles, we report the synthesis of doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded, hyaluronan (HA) coated silica nanoparticles (SNPs) containing a highly fluorescent core to target CD44, a receptor expressed on the cancer cell surface. HA was conjugated onto amine-functionalized SNPs prepared through an oil-water microemulsion method. The immobilization of the cytotoxic drug DOX was achieved through an acid sensitive hydrazone linkage. The NPs were fully characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), zeta potential measurements, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), UV-vis absorbance, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Initial biological evaluation experiments demonstrated that compared to ligand-free SNPs, the uptake of HA-SNPs by the CD44-expressing SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cells was significantly enhanced when evaluated in the 2D monolayer cell culture. Mechanistic studies suggested that cellular uptake of HA-SNPs was mainly through CD44 mediated endocytosis. HA-SNPs with immobilized DOX were endocytosed efficiently by the SKOV-3 cells as well. The enhanced tumor penetration and drug delivery properties of HA-SNPs will be evaluated in 3D tumor models in the subsequent paper.
Project description:The CD44 protein, as a predominant receptor for hyaluronan (HA), is highly expressed on the surface of multiple tumor cells. HA, as a targeting molecule for a CD44-contained delivery system, increases intracellular drug concentration in tumor tissue. However, due to the weak binding ability of hyaluronan oligosaccharide to CD44, targeting for tumor drug delivery has been restricted. In this study, we first use a HA tetrasaccharide cluster as the target ligand to enhance the binding ability to CD44. A polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer was modified by a HA tetrasaccharide cluster as a nonviral vector for small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery. The dendrimer/siRNA nanocomplexes increased the cellular uptake capacity of siRNA through the CD44 receptor-mediated endocytosis pathway, allowing the siRNA to successfully escape the endosome/lysosome. Compared with the control group, nanocomplexes effectively reduced the expression of GFP protein and mRNA in MDA-MB-231-GFP cells. This delivery system provides a foundation to increase the clinical applications of PAMAM nanomaterials.
Project description:CD44 is a major cell surface receptor for the large polydisperse glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan (HA). Binding of the long and flexible HA chains is thought to be stabilized by the multivalent nature of the sugar molecule. In addition, high and low molecular weight forms of HA provoke distinct proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects upon binding to CD44 and can deliver either proliferative or antiproliferative signals in appropriate cell types. Despite the importance of such interactions, however, neither the stoichiometry of multivalent HA binding at the cell surface nor the molecular basis for functional distinction between different HA size categories is understood. Here we report on the design of a supported lipid bilayer system that permits quantitative analysis of multivalent binding through presentation of CD44 in a stable, natively oriented manner and at controlled density. Using this system in combination with biophysical techniques, we show that the amount of HA binding to bilayers that are densely coated with CD44 increases as a function of HA size, with half-maximal saturation at ?30 kDa. Moreover, reversible binding was confined to the smaller HA species (molecular weight of ?10 kDa), whereas the interaction was essentially irreversible with larger polymers. The amount of bound HA decreased with decreasing receptor surface density, but the stability of binding was not affected. From a physico-chemical perspective, the binding properties of HA share many similarities with the typical behavior of a flexible polymer as it adsorbs onto a homogeneously attractive surface. These findings provide new insight into the multivalent nature of CD44-HA interactions and suggest a molecular basis for the distinct biological properties of different size fractions of hyaluronan.