Biologically active Camellia oleifera protein nanoparticles for improving the tumor microenvironment and drug delivery†
It is important for antitumor drugs to accumulate at the tumor site and penetrate deeply to play a role in treatment. However, it is difficult for the drugs to reach the destination on account of the complex tumor microenvironment such as elevated tumor interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) and solid stress. Here, we report a type of nanocarrier composed entirely of Camellia oleifera protein (COP), which could lower tumor IFP and solid stress. Its physicochemical properties, cellular uptake, in vitro cytotoxicity and tumor perfusion, biodistribution, and in vivo antitumor efficiency were evaluated. It was found that COP NPs had good cellular uptake ability and cytocompatibility. When loading doxorubicin, COP NPs showed an in vitro concentration-dependent cytotoxicity. Importantly, the tumor IFP and solid stress were greatly reduced after injecting COP NPs into tumor-bearing mice, leading to more drug accumulating in the tumor and a longer survival time for tumor-bearing mice. Therefore, our study provided a new strategy to improve the tumor microenvironment and to achieve better antitumor efficiency.