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Copper-Based Metal–Organic Framework Overcomes Cancer Chemoresistance through Systemically Disrupting Dynamically Balanced Cellular Redox Homeostasis

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2022, 22:29 authored by Jia Liu, Ye Yuan, Yanni Cheng, Daan Fu, Zhongyin Chen, Yang Wang, Lifang Zhang, Chundong Yao, Lin Shi, Mingyi Li, Cheng Zhou, Meizhen Zou, Guobin Wang, Lin Wang, Zheng Wang
Chemodrug resistance is a major reason accounting for tumor recurrence. Given the mechanistic complexity of chemodrug resistance, molecular inhibitors and targeting drugs often fail to eliminate drug-resistant cancer cells, and sometimes even promote chemoresistance by activating alternative pathways. Here, by exploiting biochemical fragility of high-level but dynamically balanced cellular redox homeostasis in drug-resistant cancer cells, we design a nanosized copper/catechol-based metal–organic framework (CuHPT) that effectively disturbs this homeostasis tilting the balance toward oxidative stress. Within drug-resistant cells, CuHPT starts disassembly that is triggered by persistent consumption of cellular glutathione (GSH). CuHPT disassembly simultaneously releases two structural elements: catechol ligands and reductive copper ions (Cu+). Both of them cooperatively function to amplify the production of intracellular radical oxidative species (ROS) via auto-oxidation and Fenton-like reactions through exhausting GSH. By drastically heightening cellular oxidative stress, CuHPT exhibits selective and potent cytotoxicity to multiple drug-resistant cancer cells. Importantly, CuHPT effectively inhibits in vivo drug-resistant tumor growth and doubles the survival time of tumor-bearing mice. Thus, along with CuHPT’s good biocompatibility, our biochemical, cell biological, preclinical animal model data provide compelling evidence supporting the notion that this copper-based MOF is a predesigned smart therapeutic against drug-resistant cancers through precisely deconstructing their redox homeostasis.

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