Design, Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Co-Polymers Decorated with Peptides for the Selective Nanoparticle Transport across the Cerebral Endothelium.
ABSTRACT: The development of new strategies for enhancing drug delivery to the brain represents a major challenge in treating cerebral diseases. In this paper, we report on the synthesis and structural characterization of a biocompatible nanoparticle (NP) made up of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)-polyethylene glycol (PEG) co-polymer (namely PELGA) functionalized with the membranotropic peptide gH625 (gH) and the iron-mimicking peptide CRTIGPSVC (CRT) for transport across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). gH possesses a high translocation potency of the cell membrane. Conversely, CRT selectively recognizes the brain endothelium, which interacts with transferrin (Tf) and its receptor (TfR) through a non-canonical ligand-directed mechanism. We hypothesize that the delivery across the BBB of PELGA NPs should be efficiently enhanced by the NP functionalization with both gH and CRT. Synthesis of peptides and their conjugation to the PLGA as well as NP physical-chemical characterization are performed. Moreover, NP uptake, co-localization, adhesion under dynamic conditions, and permeation across in vitro BBB model are evaluated as a function of gH/CRT functionalization ratio. Results establish that the cooperative effect of CRT and gH may change the intra-cellular distribution of NPs and strengthen NP delivery across the BBB at the functionalization ratio 33% gH?66% CRT.
Project description:The exploitation of curcumin for oral disease treatment is limited by its low solubility, poor bioavailability, and low stability. Surface-functionalized poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) have shown promising results to ameliorate selective delivery of drugs to the gastro-intestinal tract. In this study, curcumin-loaded PLGA NPs (C-PLGA NPs) of about 200 nm were surface-coated with chitosan (CS) for gastro-intestinal mucosa adhesion, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) for colon targeting or GE11 peptide for tumor colon targeting. Spectrometric and zeta potential analyses confirmed the successful functionalization of the C-PLGA NPs. Real-time label-free assessment of the cell membrane-NP interactions and NP cell uptake were performed by quartz crystal microbalance coupled with supported lipid bilayers and by surface plasmon resonance coupled with living cells. The study showed that CS-coated C-PLGA NPs interact with cells by the electrostatic mechanism, while both WGA- and GE11-coated C-PLGA NPs interact and are taken up by cells by specific active mechanisms. In vitro cell uptake studies corroborated the real-time label-free assessment by yielding a curcumin cell uptake of 7.3 ± 0.3, 13.5 ± 1.0, 27.3 ± 4.9, and 26.0 ± 1.3 ?g per 104 HT-29 cells for noncoated, CS-, WGA-, and GE11-coated C-PLGA NPs, respectively. Finally, preliminary in vivo studies showed that the WGA-coated C-PLGA NPs efficiently accumulate in the colon after oral administration to healthy Balb/c mice. In summary, the WGA- and GE11-coated C-PLGA NPs displayed high potential for application as active targeted carriers for anticancer drug delivery to the colon.
Project description:gH625 constitutes a promising delivery vehicle for the transport of therapeutic biomacromolecules across membrane barriers. We report an application of multivalency to create a complex nanosystem for delivery and to elucidate the mechanism of peptide-lipid bilayer interactions. Multivalency may offer a route to enhance gH625 cellular uptake as demonstrated by results obtained on dimers of gH625 by fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism, and surface plasmon resonance. Moreover, using both phase contrast and light sheet fluorescence microscopy we were able to characterize and visualize for the first time the fusion of giant unilamellar vesicles caused by a membranotropic peptide.
Project description:Chemoradiotherapy (CRT) with paclitaxel (PTX) and cisplatin (CP) is part of the standard of care for patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Despite the high treatment intensity, many patients still develop local recurrence after treatment. Thus, there is a strong need to further improve CRT for lung cancer. One strategy is to co-deliver cytotoxic chemotherapy agents using biocompatible nanoparticles (NPs) which can limit off-target tissue toxicity and improve therapeutic efficacy. Herein, we report the development of dual-drug loaded nanoformulations that improve the efficacy of CRT for NSCLC by co-encapsulation of cisplatin (CP) and PTX in PLGA-PEG NPs. Mice bearing NSCLC xenografts given the dual-drug loaded NPs during CRT showed greater inhibition of tumor growth than free drug combinations or combinations of single-drug loaded NPs. These results indicate that using a NP co-delivery strategy for this common CRT regimen may improve clinical responses in NSCLC patients.
Project description:The efficient delivery of chemotherapeutics to the tumor via nanoparticle (NP)-based delivery systems remains a significant challenge. This is compounded by the fact that the tumor is highly dynamic and complex environment composed of a plurality of cell types and extracellular matrix. Since glycosaminoglycan (GAG) production is altered in many diseases (or pathologies), NPs bearing GAG moieties on the surface may confer some unique advantages in interrogating the tumor microenvironment. In order to explore this premise, in the study reported here poly-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA) NPs in the range of 100-150 nm bearing various proteoglycans were synthesized by a single-step nanoprecipitation and characterized. The surface functionalization of the NPs with GAG moieties was verified using zeta potential measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. To establish these GAG-bearing NPs as carriers of therapeutics, cellular toxicity assays were undertaken in lung epithelial adenocarcinoma (A549) cells, human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC), and renal proximal tubular epithelial cells. In general NPs were well tolerated over a wide concentration range (100-600 ?g/mL) by all cell types and were taken up to appreciable extents without any adverse cell response in A549 cells and HPMEC. Further, GAG-functionalized PLGA NPs were taken up to different extents in A459 cells and HPMEC. In both cell systems, the uptake of heparin-modified NPs was diminished by 50%-65% in comparison to that of unmodified PLGA. Interestingly, the uptake of chondroitin sulfate NPs was the highest in both cell systems with 40%-60% higher uptake when compared with that of PLGA, and this represented an almost twofold difference over heparin-modified NPs. These findings suggest that GAG modification can be explored as means of changing the uptake behavior of PLGA NPs and these NP systems have potential in cancer therapy.
Project description:Most ovarian cancer patients respond well to initial platinum-based chemotherapy. However, within a year, many patients experience disease recurrence with a platinum resistant phenotype that responds poorly to second line chemotherapies. As a result, new strategies to address platinum resistant ovarian cancer (PROC) are needed. Herein, we report that NP co-delivery of cisplatin (CP) and wortmannin (Wtmn), a DNA repair inhibitor, synergistically enhances chemoradiotherapy (CRT) and reverses CP resistance in PROC. We encapsulated this regimen in FDA approved poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLGA-PEG) NPs to reduce systemic side effects, enhance cellular CP uptake, improve Wtmn stability, and increase therapeutic efficacy. Treatment of platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer (PSOC) and PROC murine models with these dual-drug loaded NPs (DNPs) significantly reduced tumor burden versus treatment with combinations of free drugs or single-drug loaded NPs (SNPs). These results support further investigation of this NP-based, synergistic drug regimen as a means to combat PROC in the clinic.
Project description:Introduction:The new frontier of tumor diagnosis and treatment relies on the development of delivery strategies capable of allowing the specific targeting of the diagnostic agents/chemotherapeutics, avoiding side effects. In the case of brain tumors, achieving this goal is made more difficult by the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Peptides have been revealed as excellent candidates for both BBB crossing and specific cancer homing. Nanoparticles (NPs), functionalized with BBB crossing and tumor homing (TH) peptides, are emerging as smart theranostic systems. However, there is still poor knowledge concerning the molecular structure and dynamical properties of these peptides, essential requirements for a suitable functionalization of the delivery systems themselves. Methods:In this work, by means of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we have extensively characterized the structural and dynamical behavior of several peptides, known to be endowed of BBB crossing and TH properties. Results:The simulations point out that, on the basis of their conformational dynamics, the peptides can be classified in two main groups: 1) peptides assuming a specific structural conformation, a feature that could be important for interacting with the molecular target but that may limit their use as functionalizing molecules and 2) highly flexible peptides whose interaction with the target may be independent of a particular structural conformation and that may represent good candidates for the functionalization of theranostic NP-based platforms. Discussion:Such findings may be useful for the de novo designing of NP-based delivery systems.
Project description:Even with an efficient combination of antiretroviral therapy (ART), which significantly decreases viral load in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-positive individuals, the occurrence of HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) still exists. Microglia have been shown to have a significant role in HIV-1 replication in the brain and in subsequent HAND pathogenesis. However, due to the limited ability of ART drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) after systemic administration, in addition to efflux transporter expression on microglia, the efficacy of ART drugs for viral suppression in microglia is suboptimal. Previously, we developed novel poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)-based elvitegravir nanoparticles (PLGA-EVG NPs), which showed improved BBB penetration in vitro and improved viral suppression in HIV-1-infected primary macrophages, after crossing an in vitro BBB model. Our objective in the current study was to evaluate the efficacy of our PLGA-EVG NPs in an important central nervous system (CNS) HIV-1 reservoir, i.e., microglia. In this study, we evaluated the cyto-compatibility of the PLGA-EVG NPs in microglia, using an XTT (2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide) assay and cellular morphology observation. We also studied the endocytosis pathway and the subcellular localization of PLGA NPs in microglia, using various endocytosis inhibitors and subcellular localization markers. We determined the ability of PLGA-EVG NPs to suppress HIV-1 replication in microglia, after crossing an in vitro BBB model. We also studied the drug levels in mouse plasma and brain tissue, using immunodeficient NOD scid gamma (NSG) mice, and performed a pilot study, to evaluate the efficacy of PLGA-EVG NPs on viral suppression in the CNS, using an HIV-1 encephalitic (HIVE) mouse model. From our results, the PLGA-EVG NPs showed ~100% biocompatibility with microglia, as compared to control cells. The internalization of PLGA NPs in microglia occurred through caveolae-/clathrin-mediated endocytosis. PLGA NPs can also escape from endo-lysosomal compartments and deliver the therapeutics to cells efficiently. More importantly, the PLGA-EVG NPs were able to show ~25% more viral suppression in HIV-1-infected human-monocyte-derived microglia-like cells after crossing the in vitro BBB compared to the EVG native drug, without altering BBB integrity. PLGA-EVG NPs also showed a ~two-fold higher level in mouse brain and a trend of decreasing CNS HIV-1 viral load in HIV-1-infected mice. Overall, these results help us to create a safe and efficient drug delivery method to target HIV-1 reservoirs in the CNS, for potential clinical use.
Project description:The success of nanomedicine as a new strategy for drug delivery and targeting prompted the interest in developing approaches toward basic and clinical neuroscience. Despite enormous advances on brain research, central nervous system (CNS) disorders remain the world's leading cause of disability, in part due to the inability of the majority of drugs to reach the brain parenchyma. Many attempts to use nanomedicines as CNS drug delivery systems (DDS) were made; among the various non-invasive approaches, nanoparticulate carriers and, particularly, polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) seem to be the most interesting strategies. In particular, the ability of poly-lactide-co-glycolide NPs (PLGA-NPs) specifically engineered with a glycopeptide (g7), conferring to NPs' ability to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) in rodents at a concentration of up to 10% of the injected dose, was demonstrated in previous studies using different routes of administrations. Most of the evidence on NP uptake mechanisms reported in the literature about intracellular pathways and processes of cell entry is based on in vitro studies. Therefore, beside the particular attention devoted to increasing the knowledge of the rate of in vivo BBB crossing of nanocarriers, the subsequent exocytosis in the brain compartments, their fate and trafficking in the brain surely represent major topics in this field.
Project description:We have investigated the crossing of the blood brain barrier (BBB) by the peptide gH625 and compared to the uptake by liver in vivo. We clearly observed that in vivo administration of gH625 allows the crossing of the BBB, although part of the peptide is sequestered by the liver. Furthermore, we used a combination of biophysical techniques to gain insight into the mechanism of interaction with model membranes mimicking the BBB and the liver. We observed a stronger interaction for membranes mimicking the BBB where gH625 clearly undergoes a change in secondary structure, indicating the key role of the structural change in the uptake mechanism. We report model studies on liposomes which can be exploited for the optimization of delivery tools.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) regulates the traffic of molecules into the central nervous system (CNS) and also limits the drug delivery. Due to their flexible properties, liposomes are an attractive tool to deliver drugs across the BBB. We previously characterized gH625, a peptide derived from Herpes simplex virus 1. The present study investigates the efficiency of liposomes functionalized on their surface with gH625 to promote the brain uptake of neuroprotective peptide PACAP (pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide). Using a rat in vitro BBB model, we showed that the liposomes preparations were non-toxic for the endothelial cells, as assessed by analysis of tight junction protein ZO1 organization and barrier integrity. Next, we found that gH625 improves the transfer of liposomes across endothelial cell monolayers, resulting in both low cellular uptake and increased transport of PACAP. Finally, in vivo results demonstrated that gH625 ameliorates the efficiency of liposomes to deliver PACAP to the mouse brain after intravenous administration. gH625-liposomes improve both PACAP reaching and crossing the BBB, as showed by the higher number of brain cells labelled with PACAP. gH625-liposomes represent a promising strategy to deliver therapeutic agents to CNS and to provide an effective imaging and diagnostic tool for the brain.