A redox-responsive mesoporous silica nanoparticle capped with amphiphilic peptides by self-assembly for cancer targeting drug delivery†
A redox-responsive mesoporous silica nanoparticle (RRMSN) was developed as a drug nanocarrier by noncovalent functionalization of MSNs with amphiphilic peptides containing the RGD ligand. The alkyl chain stearic acid (C18) with a thiol terminal group was anchored on the surface of MSNs via a disulfide bond, and the amphiphilic peptide (AP) C18-DSDSDSDSRGDS was coated by self-assembly through hydrophobic interactions between the octadecyl groups of MSNs and alkyl chains of AP, which played the role of a gatekeeper collectively. In vitro drug release profiles demonstrated that the anticancer drug (DOX) could be entrapped with nearly no leakage in the absence of dithiothreitol (DTT) or glutathione (GSH). With the addition of DTT or GSH, the entrapped drug released quickly due to the cleavage of the disulfide bond. It was found that after the internalization of MSNs by cancer cells via the receptor-mediated endocytosis, the surface amphiphilic peptides and alkyl chain of RRMSN/DOX were removed to induce rapid drug release intracellularly after the cleavage of the disulfide bond, triggered by GSH secreted in cancer cells. This novel intelligent RRMSN/DOX drug delivery system using self-assembly of amphiphilic peptides around the MSNs provides a facile, but effective strategy for the design and development of smart drug delivery for cancer therapy.