Tumor-targeting peptide conjugated pH-responsive micelles as a potential drug carrier for cancer therapy.

Research paper by Xiang Lan XL Wu, Jong Ho JH Kim, Heebeom H Koo, Sang Mun SM Bae, Hyeri H Shin, Min Sang MS Kim, Byung-Heon BH Lee, Rang-Woon RW Park, In-San IS Kim, Kuiwon K Choi, Ick Chan IC Kwon, Kwangmeyung K Kim, Doo Sung DS Lee

Indexed on: 16 Jan '10Published on: 16 Jan '10Published in: Bioconjugate Chemistry


Herein, we prepared tumor-targeting peptide (AP peptide; CRKRLDRN) conjugated pH-responsive polymeric micelles (pH-PMs) in cancer therapy by active and pH-responsive tumor targeting delivery systems, simultaneously. The active tumor targeting and tumoral pH-responsive polymeric micelles were prepared by mixing AP peptide conjugated PEG-poly(d,l-lactic acid) block copolymer (AP-PEG-PLA) into the pH-responsive micelles of methyl ether poly(ethylene glycol) (MPEG)-poly(beta-amino ester) (PAE) block copolymer (MPEG-PAE). These mixed amphiphilic block copolymers were self-assembled to form stable AP peptide-conjugated and pH-responsive AP-PEG-PLA/MPEG-PAE micelles (AP-pH-PMs) with an average size of 150 nm. The AP-pH-PMs containing 10 wt % of AP-PEG-PLA showed a sharp pH-dependent micellization/demicellization transition at the tumoral acid pH. Also, they presented the pH-dependent drug release profile at the acidic pH of 6.4. The fluorescence dye, TRITC, encapsulated AP-pH-PMs (TRITC-AP-pH-PMs) presented the higher tumor-specific targeting ability in vitro cancer cell culture system and in vivo tumor-bearing mice, compared to control pH-responsive micelles of MPEG-PAE. For the cancer therapy, the anticancer drug, doxorubicin (DOX), was efficiently encapsulated into the AP-pH-PMs (DOX-AP-pH-PMs) with a higher loading efficiency. DOX-AP-pH-PMs efficiently deliver anticancer drugs in MDA-MB231 human breast tumor-bearing mice, resulted in excellent anticancer therapeutic efficacy, compared to free DOX and DOX encapsulated MEG-PAE micelles, indicating the excellent tumor targeting ability of AP-pH-PMs. Therefore, these tumor-targeting peptide-conjugated and pH-responsive polymeric micelles have great potential application in cancer therapy.