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Selective Intracellular Delivery Of Proteasome Inhibitors Through PH-sensitive Polymeric Micelles Directed To Efficient Antitumor Therapy.

S. Quader, H. Cabral, Y. Mochida, T. Ishii, X. Liu, K. Toh, H. Kinoh, Y. Miura, N. Nishiyama, Kazunori Kataoka
Published 2014 · Chemistry, Medicine

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The ubiquitin-proteasome system is central in the regulation of cellular proteins controlling cell cycle progression and apoptosis, drawing much interest for developing effective targeted cancer therapies. Herein, we developed a novel pH-responsive polymeric-micelle-based carrier system to effectively deliver the proteasome inhibitor MG132 into cancer cells. MG132 is covalently bound to the block copolymer composed of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polyaspartate through an acid-labile hydrazone bond. This bond is stable at physiological condition, but hydrolytically degradable in acidic compartments in the cell, such as late-endosomes and lysosomes, and thus, it was used for controlled release of MG132 after EPR-mediated preferential accumulation of the micelles into the tumor. MG132-loaded micelles have monodispersed size distribution with an average diameter of 45nm, and critical micelle concentration is well below 10(-7)M. In vitro studies against several cancer cell lines confirmed that MG132-loaded micelles retained the cytotoxic effect, and this activity was indeed due to the inhibition of proteasome by released MG132 from the micelles. Real-time in vitro confocal-microscopy experiments clearly indicated that MG132-conjugated micelles disintegrated only inside the target cells. By intravital confocal micro-videography, we also confirmed the prolonged circulation of MG132 loaded micelles in the bloodstream, which lead to tumor specific accumulation of micelles, as confirmed by in vivo imaging 24h after injection. These micelles showed significantly lower in vivo toxicity than free MG132, while achieving remarkable antitumor effect against a subcutaneous HeLa-luc tumor model. Our findings create a paradigm for future development of polymeric-micelle-based carrier system for other peptide aldehyde type proteasome inhibitors to make them effective cohort of the existing cancer therapeutic regiments.
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