A promising dual-drug targeted delivery system in cancer therapy: nanocomplexes of folate–apoferritin-conjugated cationic solid lipid nanoparticles
Various nano-sized protein and lipid complexes are being investigated as drug delivery systems. The encapsulation of more than one drug in a single nanocomplex carrier could enhance the therapeutic potency and afford synergistic therapeutic effects.
In this study, we developed a novel protein-lipid nanocomplex as a controlled drug delivery system for two important cancer drugs, doxorubicin (DOX) and mitoxantrone (MTO). Apoferritin (AFr) functionalized with folic acid (FA) was used to encapsulate DOX to create the targeted protein nanocomplexes (TPNs). The second drug, MTO, was loaded into the cationic solid lipid nanoparticles (cSLN) to form the liposomal drug nanocomplex particles (MTO-cSLNs). Two complexes were then assembled by tight coupling through ionic interactions to obtain the final drug delivery system, the dual-targeted protein-lipid nanocomplexes (DTPLNs). UV-Vis and fluorescence spectroscopy were used for structural characterization of TPNs and DTPLNs. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used for comprehensive analysis of the final DTPLNs.
We confirmed that the DTPLNs display desired time-dependent and pH-dependent drug release behaviors. We also demonstrated the improved anti-cancer efficacy of DOX and MTO in their encapsulated DTPLNs as compared to their free forms. Our results provide promising prospects for the application of the DTPLNs as efficient drug delivery systems.
Article information: (2021) A promising dual-drug targeted delivery system in cancer therapy: nanocomplexes of folate–apoferritin-conjugated cationic solid lipid nanoparticles, Pharmaceutical Development and Technology,