Nanobiotechnology: “Biparatopic Protein Nanoparticles for the Precision Therapy of CXCR4+ Cancers”

Cancers 202113(12), 2929



The accumulated molecular knowledge about human cancer enables the identification of multiple cell surface markers as highly specific therapeutic targets. A proper tumor targeting could significantly avoid drug exposure of healthy cells, minimizing side effects, but it is also expected to increase the therapeutic index. Specifically, colorectal cancer has a particularly poor prognosis in late stages, being drug targeting an appropriate strategy to substantially improve the therapeutic efficacy. In this study, we have explored the potential of the human albumin-derived peptide, EPI-X4, as a suitable ligand to target colorectal cancer via the cell surface protein CXCR4, a chemokine receptor overexpressed in cancer stem cells. To explore the potential use of this ligand, self-assembling protein nanoparticles have been generated displaying an engineered EPI-X4 version, which conferred a modest CXCR4 targeting and fast and high level of cell apoptosis in tumor CXCR4+ cells, in vitro and in vivo. In addition, when EPI-X4-based building blocks are combined with biologically inert polypeptides containing the CXCR4 ligand T22, the resulting biparatopic nanoparticles show a dramatically improved biodistribution in mouse models of CXCR4+ human cancer, faster cell internalization and enhanced target cell death when compared to the version based on a single ligand. The generation of biparatopic materials opens exciting possibilities in oncotherapies based on high precision drug delivery based on the receptor CXCR4. View Full-TextKeywords: tumor homingEPI-X4CXCR4biparatopic nanoparticlestumor targetingdrug delivery