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Mol Pharm. 2019 Apr 3. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.8b01335. [Epub ahead of print]

Multifunctional Nanosystem Based on Graphene Oxide for Synergistic Multistage Tumor-Targeting and Combined Chemo-Photothermal Therapy.

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CAS Key Laboratory of Design and Assembly of Functional Nanostructures, and Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Nanomaterials, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter , Chinese Academy of Sciences , Fuzhou 350002 , China.
Department of Translational Medicine, Xiamen Institute of Rare Earth Materials , Chinese Academy of Sciences , Xiamen 361024 , P. R. China.
Department of General Surgery , The Affiliated Southeast Hospital of Xiamen University , Zhangzhou 363000 , China.


Locating nanomedicines at the active sites plays a pivotal role in the nanoparticle-based cancer therapy field. Herein, a multifunctional nanotherapeutic is designed by using graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets with rich carboxyl groups as the supporter for hyaluronic acid (HA)-methotrexate (MTX) prodrug modification via an adipicdihydrazide cross-linker, achieving synergistic multistage tumor-targeting and combined chemo-photothermal therapy. As a tumor-targeting biomaterial, HA can increase affinity of the nanocarrier toward CD44 receptor for enhanced cellular uptake. MTX, a chemotherapeutic agent, can also serve as a tumor-targeting enhancer toward folate receptor based on its similar structure with folic acid. The prepared nanosystems possess a sheet shape with a dynamic size of approximately 200 nm and pH-responsive drug release. Unexpectedly, the physiological stability of HA-MTX prodrug-decorated GO nanosystems in PBS, serum, and even plasma is more excellent than that of HA-decorated GO nanosystems, while both of them exhibit an enhanced photothermal effect than GO nanosheets. More importantly, because of good blood compatibility as well as reduced undesired interactions with blood components, HA-MTX prodrug-decorated GO nanosystems exhibited remarkably superior accumulation at the tumor sites by passive and active targeting mechanisms, achieving highly effective synergistic chemo-photothermal therapeutic effect upon near-infrared laser irradiation, efficient ablation of tumors, and negligible systemic toxicity. Hence, the HA-MTX prodrug-decorated hybrid nanosystems have a promising potential for synergistic multistage tumor-targeting therapy.


chemo-photothermal therapy; graphene oxide; hyaluronic acid; methotrexate; targeting ability

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