Co-delivery of Salinomycin and Curcumin for Cancer Stem Cell Treatment by Inhibition of Cell Proliferation, Cell Cycle Arrest, and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition.
ABSTRACT: Malignant cancer is a devastating disease often associated with a poor clinical prognosis. For decades, modern drug discoveries have attempted to identify potential modulators that can impede tumor growth. Cancer stem cells however are more resistant to therapeutic intervention, which often leads to treatment failure and subsequent disease recurrence. Here in this study, we have developed a specific multi-target drug delivery nanoparticle system against breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). Therapeutic agents curcumin and salinomycin have complementary functions of limiting therapeutic resistance and eliciting cellular death, respectively. By conjugation of CD44 cell-surface glycoprotein with poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles that are loaded with curcumin and salinomycin, we investigated the cellular uptake of BCSCs, drug release, and therapeutic efficacy against BCSCs. We determined CD44-targeting co-delivery nanoparticles are highly efficacious against BCSCs by inducing G1 cell cycle arrest and limiting epithelial-mesenchymal transition. This curcumin and salinomycin co-delivery system can be an efficient treatment approach to target malignant cancer without the repercussion of disease recurrence.
Project description:Cancer cells with stem cell-like properties contribute to the development of resistance to chemotherapy and eventually to tumor relapses. The current study investigated the potential of curcumin to reduce breast cancer stem cell (BCSC) population for sensitizing breast cancer cells to mitomycin C (MMC) both in vitro and in vivo. Curcumin improved the sensitivity of paclitaxel, cisplatin, and doxorubicin in breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, as shown by the more than 2-fold decrease in the half-maximal inhibitory concentration of these chemotherapeutic agents. In addition, curcumin sensitized the BCSCs of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 to MMC by 5- and 15-fold, respectively. The BCSCs could not grow to the fifth generation in the presence of curcumin and MMC. MMC or curcumin alone only marginally reduced the BCSC population in the mammospheres; however, together, they reduced the BCSC population in CD44+CD24-/low cells by more than 75% (29.34% to 6.86%). Curcumin sensitized BCSCs through a reduction in the expression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters ABCG2 and ABCC1. We demonstrated that fumitremorgin C, a selective ABCG2 inhibitor, reduced BCSC survival to a similar degree as curcumin did. Curcumin sensitized breast cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs by reducing the BCSC population mainly through a reduction in the expression of ABCG2.
Project description:The aim of this study is to investigate the efficacy of combining a histone deacetylase inhibitor (LBH589) and a breast cancer stem cells (BCSC)-targeting agent (salinomycin) as a novel combination therapy for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). We performed in vitro studies using the TNBC cell lines to examine the combined effect. We used the mammosphere and ALDEFLUOR assays to estimate BCSC self-renewal capacity and distribution of BCSCs, respectively. Synergistic analysis was performed using CalcuSyn software. For in vivo studies, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 ALDH1-positive cells were injected into non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency gamma (NSG) mice. After tumor formation, mice were treated with LBH589, salinomycin, or in combination. In a second mouse model, HCC1937 cells were first treated with each treatment and then injected into NSG mice. For mechanistic analysis, immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis were performed using cell and tumor samples. HCC1937 cells displayed BCSC properties including self-renewal capacity, an ALDH1-positive cell population, and the ability to form tumors. Treatment of HCC1937 cells with LBH589 and salinomycin had a potent synergistic effect inhibiting TNBC cell proliferation, ALDH1-positive cells, and mammosphere growth. In xenograft mouse models treated with LBH589 and salinomycin, the drug combination effectively and synergistically inhibited tumor growth of ALDH1-positive cells. The drug combination exerted its effects by inducing apoptosis, arresting the cell cycle, and regulating epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Combination of LBH589 and salinomycin has a synergistic inhibitory effect on TNBC BCSCs by inducing apoptosis, arresting the cell cycle, and regulating EMT; with no apparent associated severe toxicity. This drug combination could therefore offer a new targeted therapeutic strategy for TNBC and warrants further clinical study in patients with TNBC.
Project description:Many drug-resistant tumors and cancer stem cells (CSC) express elevated levels of CD44 receptor, a cellular glycoprotein binding hyaluronic acid (HA). Here, we report the synthesis of nanogel-drug conjugates based on membranotropic cholesteryl-HA (CHA) for efficient targeting and suppression of drug-resistant tumors. These conjugates significantly increased the bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs with previously reported activity against CSC, such as etoposide, salinomycin, and curcumin. The small nanogel particles (diameter 20-40 nm) with a hydrophobic core and high drug loads (up to 20%) formed after ultrasonication and demonstrated a sustained drug release following the hydrolysis of biodegradable ester linkage. Importantly, CHA-drug nanogels demonstrated 2-7 times higher cytotoxicity in CD44-expressing drug-resistant human breast and pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells compared to that of free drugs and nonmodified HA-drug conjugates. These nanogels were efficiently internalized via CD44 receptor-mediated endocytosis and simultaneous interaction with the cancer cell membrane. Anchoring by cholesterol moieties in the cellular membrane after nanogel unfolding evidently caused more efficient drug accumulation in cancer cells compared to that in nonmodified HA-drug conjugates. CHA-drug nanogels were able to penetrate multicellular cancer spheroids and displayed a higher cytotoxic effect in the system modeling tumor environment than both free drugs and HA-drug conjugates. In conclusion, the proposed design of nanogel-drug conjugates allowed us to significantly enhance drug bioavailability, cancer cell targeting, and the treatment efficacy against drug-resistant cancer cells and multicellular spheroids.
Project description:Breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) are intrinsically chemoresistant and capable of self-renewal. Following chemotherapy, patients can develop minimal residual disease due to BCSCs which can repopulate into a relapsed tumor. Therefore, it is imperative to co-target BCSCs along with the bulk tumor cells to achieve therapeutic success and prevent recurrence. So, it is vital to identify actionable molecular targets against both BCSCs and bulk tumor cells. Previous findings from our lab and others have demonstrated that inhibition of the emerging drug target eIF4A with Rocaglamide A (RocA) was efficacious against triple-negative breast cancer cells (TNBC). RocA specifically targets the pool of eIF4A bound to the oncogenic mRNAs that requires its helicase activity for their translation. This property enables specific targeting of tumor cells. The efficacy of RocA against BCSCs is unknown. In this study, we postulated that eIF4A could be a vulnerable node in BCSCs. In order to test this, we generated a paclitaxel-resistant TNBC cell line which demonstrated an elevated level of eIF4A along with increased levels of cancer stemness markers (ALDH activity and CD44), pluripotency transcription factors (SOX2, OCT4, and NANOG) and drug transporters (ABCB1, ABCG2, and ABCC1). Furthermore, genetic ablation of eIF4A resulted in reduced expression of ALDH1A1, pluripotency transcription factors and drug transporters. This pointed out that eIF4A is likely associated with selected set of proteins that are critical to BCSCs, and hence targeting eIF4A may eliminate BCSCs. Therefore, we isolated BCSCs from two TNBC cell lines: MDA-Bone-Un and SUM-159PT. Following RocA treatment, the self-renewal ability of the BCSCs was significantly reduced as determined by the efficiency of the formation of primary and secondary mammospheres. This was accompanied by a reduction in the levels of NANOG, OCT4, and drug transporters. Exposure to RocA also induced cell death of the BCSCs as evaluated by DRAQ7 and cell viability assays. RocA treatment induced apoptosis with increased levels of cleaved caspase-3. Overall, we identified that RocA is effective in targeting BCSCs, and eIF4A is an actionable molecular target in both BCSCs and bulk tumor cells. Therefore, anti-eIF4A inhibitors could potentially be combined synergistically with existing chemo-, radio- and/or immunotherapies.
Project description:Curcumin (CUR) is a unique natural compound with promising anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. However, the therapeutic efficacy of curcumin was challenged in clinical trials, mostly due to its low bioavailability, rapid metabolism, and elimination. We designed a nanodrug form of curcumin, which makes it stable and substantially enhances cellular permeability and anticancer activity at standard oral administration. Curcumin was conjugated as an ester to cholesteryl-hyaluronic acid (CHA) nanogel that is capable of targeted delivery to CD44-expressing drug-resistant cancer cells. CHA-CUR nanogels demonstrated excellent solubility and sustained drug release in physiological conditions. It induced apoptosis in cancer cells, suppressing the expression of NF-?B, TNF-?, and COX-2 cellular targets similar to free curcumin. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) studies also revealed improved circulation parameters of CHA-CUR at oral, i.p. and i.v. administration routes. CHA-CUR showed targeted tumor accumulation and effective tumor growth inhibition in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma MiaPaCa-2 and aggressive orthotropic murine mammary carcinoma 4T1 animal models. CHA-CUR treatment was well-tolerated and resulted in up to 13-fold tumor suppression, making this nanodrug a potential candidate for cancer prevention and therapeutic treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) are the source of breast tumors. Compared with other cancer cells, cancer stem cells show high resistance to both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Targeting of BCSCs is thus a potentially promising and effective strategy for breast cancer treatment. Differentiation therapy represents one type of cancer stem-cell-targeting therapy, aimed at attacking the stemness of cancer stem cells, thus reducing their chemo- and radioresistance. In a previous study, we showed that down-regulation of CD44 sensitized BCSCs to the anti-tumor agent doxorubicin. This study aimed to determine if CD44 knockdown caused BCSCs to differentiate into breast cancer non-stem cells (non-BCSCs). METHODS: We isolated a breast cancer cell population (CD44+CD24- cells) from primary cultures of malignant breast tumors. These cells were sorted into four sub-populations based on their expression of CD44 and CD24 surface markers. CD44 knockdown in the BCSC population was achieved using small hairpin RNA lentivirus particles. The differentiated status of CD44 knock-down BCSCs was evaluated on the basis of changes in CD44+CD24- phenotype, tumorigenesis in NOD/SCID mice, and gene expression in relation to renewal status, metastasis, and cell cycle in comparison with BCSCs and non-BCSCs. RESULTS: Knockdown of CD44 caused BCSCs to differentiate into non-BCSCs with lower tumorigenic potential, and altered the cell cycle and expression profiles of some stem cell-related genes, making them more similar to those seen in non-BCSCs. CONCLUSIONS: Knockdown of CD44 is an effective strategy for attacking the stemness of BCSCs, resulting in a loss of stemness and an increase in susceptibility to chemotherapy or radiation. The results of this study highlight a potential new strategy for breast cancer treatment through the targeting of BCSCs.
Project description:Breast cancers contain a heterogeneous population of cells with a small percentage that possess properties similar to those found in stem cells. One of the widely accepted markers of breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) is the cell surface marker CD44. As a glycoprotein, CD44 is involved in many cellular processes including cell adhesion, migration and proliferation, making it pro-oncogenic by nature. CD44 expression is highly up-regulated in BCSCs, and has been implicated in tumorigenesis and metastasis. However, the genetic mechanism that leads to a high level of CD44 expression in breast cancer cells and BCSCs is not well understood. Here, we identify a novel cis-element of the CD44 directs gene expression in breast cancer cells in a cell type specific manner. We have further identified key trans-acting factor binding sites and nuclear factors AP-1 and NF?B that are involved in the regulation of cell-specific CD44 expression. These findings provide new insight into the complex regulatory mechanism of CD44 expression, which may help identify more effective therapeutic targets against the breast cancer stem cells and metastatic tumors.
Project description:Background: Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease. Its treatment is challenged by the limited amount of drug reaching the inflamed skin. The overexpressed CD44 protein in inflamed psoriatic skin can serve as a potential target of novel active-targeting nanocarriers to increase drug accumulation in the skin. Methods: Hyaluronic acid (HA) was linked to propylene glycol-based ethosomes by covalent binding to develop a novel topical drug delivery carrier (HA-ES) for curcumin. An imiquimod-induced psoriasis mouse model was established, and curcumin delivery and anti-psoriatic efficacy using HA-ES were compared with those using plain ethosomes (ES). Results: The HA gel network formed on the surface of HA-ES reduced the leakage and release of poorly water-soluble curcumin. Compared with ES, transdermal curcumin delivery was significantly enhanced by using HA-ES as vehicles; the cumulative transdermal amount and the amount retained in the skin in vitro after 8 h were, respectively, 1.6 and 1.4 times those observed with ES, as well as 3.1 and 3.3 times those observed with a curcumin propylene glycol solution (PGS), respectively. The in vivo psoriatic skin retention of curcumin with HA-ES was 2.3 and 4.0 times that of ES and PGS, respectively. CD44 expression in imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like inflamed skin was 2.7 times that in normal skin. Immunostaining revealed similar results, suggesting that the specific adhesion of HA-ES to CD44 increased drug accumulation in the skin. After topical administration to mice, the HA-ES group showed an alleviation of inflammation symptoms; lower TNF-?, IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-22, and IL-1? mRNA levels; and lower CCR6 protein expression compared to the ES and PGS groups. Conclusion: We demonstrated increased topical drug delivery of curcumin to inflamed tissues using HA-ES targeting the highly expressed CD44 protein. This innovative strategy could be applied for the development of topical drug delivery systems targeting inflamed skin.
Project description:Therapeutic resistance is a major clinical challenge in oncology. Evidence identifies cancer stem cells (CSCs) as a driver of tumor evolution. Accordingly, the key stemness property unique to CSCs, may represent a reservoir of therapeutic target to improve cancer treatment. Here, we carried out a genome-wide RNA interference screen to identify genes that regulates breast CSCs-fate (bCSC). Using an interactome/regulome analysis, we integrated screen results in a functional mapping of the CSC-related processes. This network analysis uncovered potential therapeutic targets controlling bCSC-fate. We tested a panel of 15 compounds targeting these regulators. We showed that mifepristone, salinomycin, and JQ1 represent the best anti-bCSC activity. A combination assay revealed a synergistic interaction of salinomycin/JQ1 association to deplete the bCSC population. Treatment of primary breast cancer xenografts with this combination reduced the tumor-initiating cell population and limited metastatic development. The clinical relevance of our findings was reinforced by an association between the expression of the bCSC-related networks and patients prognosis. Targeting bCSCs with salinomycin/JQ1 combination provides the basis for a new therapeutic approach for breast cancer care.
Project description:Therapeutic resistance is a major clinical challenge in oncology. Evidence identifies cancer stem cells (CSCs) as a driver of tumor evolution. Accordingly, the key stemness property unique to CSCs may represent a reservoir of therapeutic target to improve cancer treatment. Here, we carried out a genome-wide RNA interference screen to identify genes that regulate breast CSCs-fate (bCSC). Using an interactome/regulome analysis, we integrated screen results in a functional mapping of the CSC-related processes. This network analysis uncovered potential therapeutic targets controlling bCSC-fate. We tested a panel of 15 compounds targeting these regulators. We showed that mifepristone, salinomycin, and JQ1 represent the best anti-bCSC activity. A combination assay revealed a synergistic interaction of salinomycin/JQ1 association to deplete the bCSC population. Treatment of primary breast cancer xenografts with this combination reduced the tumor-initiating cell population and limited metastatic development. The clinical relevance of our findings was reinforced by an association between the expression of the bCSC-related networks and patient prognosis. Targeting bCSCs with salinomycin/JQ1 combination provides the basis for a new therapeutic approach in the treatment of breast cancer.