Potentiating Anti-cancer Chemotherapeutics and Antimicrobials via Sugar-mediated Strategies
The concept of targeted drug delivery evolved from the “magic bullet” idea put forth by Paul Ehrlich more than a century ago, whose original intention was to kill disease-causing microbes without harming the body itself. In this minireview, we highlight sugar-mediated targeted delivery strategies that capitalize on the unique metabolic features of cancer cells (the so-called Warburg effect) and bacteria to enhance the efficacy of anti-cancer chemotherapeutics and antimicrobials, respectively. The differences in metabolism between cancerous and normal cells, and how the overexpression of sugar transporters in cancer cells can be capitalized for cancer therapy are first discussed. Subsequently, different designs of sugar-conjugated therapeutic agents and delivery systems are presented. Finally, we show that while targeting bacterial cells metabolism to increase antimicrobial efficacy is based on a different concept from that employed for cancer therapy, co-administration of antimicrobials with glucose and other metabolites either in the free form or conjugated to carriers can increase bacterial cells susceptibility to antimicrobial agents.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Bioinspired Materials