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Biomacromolecules. 2015 Sep 14;16(9):3042-53. doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.5b00941. Epub 2015 Aug 31.

Hyaluronic Acid Engineered Nanomicelles Loaded with 3,4-Difluorobenzylidene Curcumin for Targeted Killing of CD44+ Stem-Like Pancreatic Cancer Cells.

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Use-inspired Biomaterials & Integrated Nano Delivery (U-BiND) Systems Laboratory, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Wayne State University , 259 Mack Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48201, United States.
Department of Pathology, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, School of Medicine , 740 HWCRC, Detroit, Michigan 48201, United States.
Interdisciplinary Science & Technology Research Academy, Department of Chemistry, Abeda Inamdar College, Azam Campus, University of Pune , Pune 411001, India.
Molecular Therapeutics Program, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, School of Medicine , Detroit, Michigan 48201, United States.


Cancer stem-like cells (CSLCs) play a pivotal role in acquiring multidrug resistant (MDR) phenotypes. It has been established that pancreatic cancers overexpressing CD44 receptors (a target of hyaluronic acid; HA) is one of the major contributors for causing MDR. Therefore, targeted killing of CD44 expressing tumor cells using HA based active targeting strategies may be beneficial for eradicating MDR-pancreatic cancers. Here, we report the synthesis of a new HA conjugate of copoly(styrene maleic acid) (HA-SMA) that could be engineered to form nanomicelles with a potent anticancer agent, 3,4-difluorobenzylidene curcumin (CDF). The anticancer activity of CDF loaded nanomicelles against MiaPaCa-2 and AsPC-1 human pancreatic cancer cells revealed dose-dependent cell killing. Results of cellular internalization further confirmed better uptake of HA engineered nanomicelles in triple-marker positive (CD44+/CD133+/EpCAM+) pancreatic CSLCs compared with triple-marker negative (CD44-/CD133-/EpCAM-) counterparts. More importantly, HA-SMA-CDF exhibited superior anticancer response toward CD44+ pancreatic CSLCs. Results further confirmed that triple-marker positive cells treated with HA-SMA-CDF caused significant reduction in CD44 expression and marked inhibition of NF-κB that in-turn can mitigate their proliferative and invasive behavior. Conclusively, these results suggest that the newly developed CD44 targeted nanomicelles may have great implications in treating pancreatic cancers including the more aggressive pancreatic CSLCs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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