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Biomacromolecules. 2013 Apr 8;14(4):1093-102. doi: 10.1021/bm3019906. Epub 2013 Mar 11.

Synergistic antitumor activity from two-stage delivery of targeted toxins and endosome-disrupting nanoparticles.

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  • 1Department of Material Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Plant-derived Type I toxins are candidate anticancer therapeutics requiring cytosolic delivery into tumor cells. We tested a concept for two-stage delivery, whereby tumor cells precoated with an antibody-targeted gelonin toxin were killed by exposure to endosome-disrupting polymer nanoparticles. Co-internalization of particles and tumor cell-bound gelonin led to cytosolic delivery and >50-fold enhancement of toxin efficacy. This approach allows the extreme potency of gelonin to be focused on tumors with significantly reduced potential for off-target toxicity.

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