Nanobiotechnology: “Design and engineering of tumor-targeted, dual-acting cytotoxic nanoparticles”

Acta Biomaterialia



The possibility to conjugate tumor-targeted cytotoxic nanoparticles and conventional antitumoral drugs in single pharmacological entities would open a wide spectrum of opportunities in nanomedical oncology. This principle has been explored here by using CXCR4-targeted self-assembling protein nanoparticles based on two potent microbial toxins, the exotoxin A from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the diphtheria toxin from Corynebacterium diphtheriae, to which oligo-floxuridine and monomethyl auristatin E respectively have been chemically coupled. The resulting multifunctional hybrid nanoconjugates, with a hydrodynamic size of around 50 nm, are stable and internalize target cells with a biological impact. Although the chemical conjugation minimizes the cytotoxic activity of the protein partner in the complexes, the concept of drug combination proposed here is fully feasible and highly promising when considering multiple drug treatments aimed to higher effectiveness or when facing the therapy of cancers with acquired resistance to classical drugs.