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Issue 27, 2017
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A smart pH-responsive nano-carrier as a drug delivery system for the targeted delivery of ursolic acid: suppresses cancer growth and metastasis by modulating P53/MMP-9/PTEN/CD44 mediated multiple signaling pathways

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Abstract

Ursolic acid (UA) has been recently used as a promising anti-tumor and cancer metastatic chemo-preventive agent due to its low toxicity and liver-protecting property. However, the low bioavailability and nonspecific tumor targeting restrict its further clinical application. To address the problem, a silica-based mesoporous nanosphere (MSN) controlled-release drug delivery system (denoted UA@M-CS-FA) was designed and successfully synthesized, and was functionalized with folic acid (FA) and pH-sensitive chitosan (CS) for the targeted delivery of UA to folate receptor (FR) positive tumor cells. UA@M-CS-FA were spherical with mean diameter below 150 nm, and showed about −20 mV potential. Meanwhile, UA@M-CS-FA exhibited a pH-sensitive release manner and high cellular uptake in FR over-expressing HeLa cancer cells. Also, in vitro cellular assays suggested that UA@M-CS-FA inhibited cancer cell growth, invasion and migration. Mechanistically, UA@M-CS-FA induced cancer cell apoptosis and inhibited migration via cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 stage, regulating the PARP/Bcl-2/MMP-9/CD44/PTEN/P53. Importantly, in vivo experiments further confirmed that UA@M-CS-FA significantly suppressed the tumor progression and lung metastasis in tumor-bearing nude mice. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that UA@M-CS-FA treatment regulated CD44, a biomarker of cancer metastasis. Overall, our data demonstrated that a CS and FA modified MSN controlled-release drug delivery system could help broaden the usage of UA and reflect the great application potential of the UA as an anticancer or cancer metastatic chemopreventive agent.

Graphical abstract: A smart pH-responsive nano-carrier as a drug delivery system for the targeted delivery of ursolic acid: suppresses cancer growth and metastasis by modulating P53/MMP-9/PTEN/CD44 mediated multiple signaling pathways

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Mar 2017, accepted on 04 Jun 2017 and first published on 07 Jun 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR01677H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017,9, 9428-9439
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    A smart pH-responsive nano-carrier as a drug delivery system for the targeted delivery of ursolic acid: suppresses cancer growth and metastasis by modulating P53/MMP-9/PTEN/CD44 mediated multiple signaling pathways

    K. Jiang, T. Chi, T. Li, G. Zheng, L. Fan, Y. Liu, X. Chen, S. Chen, L. Jia and J. Shao, Nanoscale, 2017, 9, 9428
    DOI: 10.1039/C7NR01677H

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