Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Redox-triggered activation of nanocarriers for mitochondria-targeting cancer chemotherapy


The importance of mitochondrial delivery of anticancer drug to cancer cells has been recognized to improve therapeutic efficacy. The introduction of lipophilic cation, such as triphenylphosphonium (TPP), on the surface of nanocarrier was utilized to target mitochondria via strong electrostatic interaction between positively charged TPP and negatively charged mitochondrial membrane. However, the highly positive charge nature of TPP leads to rapid clearance from the blood, decrease of circulation lifetime, and nonspecific targeting of cells’ mitochondria. Here, we report a strategy for improving the anticancer efficacy of paclitaxel via redox triggered intracellular activation of mitochondria-targeting. The lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles (LPNPs) composed of poly (D, L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), TPP-containing amphiphilic polymer (C18-PEG2000-TPP) and reduction-responsive amphiphilic polymer (DLPE-S-S-mPEG4000). The charges of TPP in LPNPs were almost completely shielded by surface coating of PEG4000 layer, ensuring the high tumor accumulation. After uptake by cancer cells, the surface charges of LPNPs were recovered due to the detachment of PEG4000 under intracellular reductive conditions, resulting in rapid and precise localization in mitochondria. This kind of simple, easy and practicable mitochondria-targeting nanoplatform showed super anticancer activity, and the activatable strategy is valuable for developing a variety of nanocarriers and application in the delivery of other drugs.

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 17 Aug 2017, accepted on 29 Sep 2017 and first published on 04 Oct 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06130G
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
  •   Request permissions

    Redox-triggered activation of nanocarriers for mitochondria-targeting cancer chemotherapy

    W. Zhou, H. Yu, L. Zhang, B. Wu, C. Wang, Q. Wang, K. Deng, R. Zhuo and S. Huang, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06130G

Search articles by author