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J Drug Target. 2018 Sep;26(8):676-683. doi: 10.1080/1061186X.2017.1408114. Epub 2017 Dec 1.

Enhanced selective cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of epidermal growth factor-conjugated liposomes containing curcumin on EGFR-overexpressed pancreatic cancer cells.

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a Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences , California Northstate University, College of pharmacy , Elk Grove , CA , USA.
b Rite Aid Pharmacy , Louisville , KY , USA.
c Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences , Sullivan University College of pharmacy , Louisville , KY , USA.


Pancreatic cancer is one of the most malignant cancers with a high mortality rate. Some types of pancreatic cancer cells overexpress epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is a potential target for anticancer agents. In this study, we examined the effect of epidermal growth factor (EGF)-conjugated liposomes containing curcumin (EGF-LP-Cur) on three different EGFR-expressed human pancreatic cancer cell lines, BxPC-3, Panc-1 and Mia Paca-2. We have demonstrated that it is feasible to prepare liposomal vesicles of EGF-LP-Cur and that it is stable in the liquid vehicle at ambient conditions for three weeks. In addition, the formulation of curcumin had higher cytotoxicity on BxPC-3 than on any other cells. It is also shown that the cellular uptake of curcumin on BxPC-3, which is essential for the cytotoxicity, is associated with EGFR-mediated mechanism of action. In summary, our results have showed that targeting EGFR with EGF-conjugated curcumin liposomes enhanced the antitumor activity of curcumin against human pancreatic cancer cells.


EGF-conjugated curcumin liposomes; Epidermal growth factor (EGF); curcumin liposomes; cytotoxicity; epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); pancreatic cancer

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