Glutathione-sensitive and folate-targeted nanoparticles loaded with paclitaxel to enhance oral squamous cell carcinoma therapy†
In this study, a drug delivery system based on glutathione (GSH)-sensitive and folic acid (FA)-targeted nanoparticles loaded with paclitaxel (FA-PEG-S-S-PCL@PTX, FA-NPs) was developed. First, we proved that the FA receptor was significantly expressed in 95 oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) specimens (57.9%). This provided feasibility to release FA-targeted nanoparticles in tumour sites for patients with OSCC. Next, FA-NPs were synthesized and characterized. In vitro, we found enhancement in FA-mediated endocytosis in the HSC3 cells with FA overexpression. Therefore, paclitaxel (PTX) from FA-NPs could be precisely released due to the disulfide bonds that were cleaved by a redox reaction. In vivo, FA-NPs could be accumulated in mice bearing HSC3 cells, where they exhibited effective antitumor effects when compared to the treatments with free PTX and PEG-S-S-PCL@PTX. In summary, this novel drug system has an opportunity to improve OSCC treatment.