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Biomaterials. 2013 Sep;34(28):6976-91. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.05.055. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

PSA-responsive and PSMA-mediated multifunctional liposomes for targeted therapy of prostate cancer.

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State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, 38 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, PR China.


In the hormone-refractory stage of prostate cancer (PC), the expression of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) often remains highly active. Accumulating studies have demonstrated that these two proteins are attractive targets for specific delivery of functional molecules to advanced PC, not merely as potential sensitive markers for PC detection. In this study, we constructed a dual-modified liposome that incorporated PSA-responsive and PSMA-mediated liposomes and potentially offers double selectivity for PC. The folate moiety binds quickly to PSMA-positive tumors, and the PSA-responsive moiety is cleaved by PSA that was enriched in tumor tissues. The activated liposomes (folate and cell-penetrating peptides dual-modifications) are subsequently taken up by the tumor cells via polyarginine's penetrating effects and receptor-mediated endocytosis. To corroborate these assumptions, a series of experiments were conducted, including PSA-responsive peptide hydrolysis kinetics, cellular uptake, internalization mechanism and escape from endosomes in PC-3 and/or 22Rv1 cells, biodistribution and antitumor activity of siRNA-loaded liposomes after systemic administration, gene silencing and cell apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. The results reveal that multivalent interactions play a key role in enhancing PC cell recognition and uptake while reducing nonspecific uptake. The dual-modified liposomes carrying small interfering RNA (siRNA) have significant advantages over the control liposomes, including single-modified (folate, CPP, PSA-responsive only) and non-modified liposomes. The dual-modified liposomes elevated cellular uptake, downregulated expression of polo-like kinase 1 (PLK-1) and augmented cell apoptosis in prostate tumor cells. The entry of the dual-modified liposomes into 22Rv1 cells occurred via multiple endocytic pathways, including clathrin-mediated endocytosis and macropinocytosis, followed by an effective endosomal escape of the entrapped siRNA into the cytoplasm. In vivo studies conducted on a 22Rv1 xenograft murine model demonstrated that the dual-modified liposomes demonstrated the maximized accumulation, retention and knockdown of PLK-1 in tumor cells, as well as the strongest inhibition of tumor growth and induction of tumor cell apoptosis. In terms of targeting capacity and therapeutic potency, the combination of a PSA-responsive and PSMA-mediated liposome presents a promising platform for therapy and diagnosis of PSMA/PSA-positive PC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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