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Folate Receptor Targeting and Cathepsin B‑Sensitive Drug Delivery System for Selective Cancer Cell Death and Imaging

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2020, 15:40 by Xiangmei Jin, Jun Zhang, Xiaoyan Jin, Lan Liu, Xizhe Tian
In this work, a folate receptor (FR)-mediated dual-targeting drug delivery system was synthesized to improve the tumor-killing efficiency and inhibit the side effects of anticancer drugs. We designed and synthesized an FR-mediated fluorescence probe (FA-Rho) and FR-mediated cathepsin B-sensitive drug delivery system (FA-GFLG-SN38). FA-GFLG-SN38 is composed of the FR ligand (folic acid, FA), the tetrapeptide substrate for cathepsin B (GFLG), and an anticancer drug (SN38). The rhodamine B (Rho)-labeled probe FA-Rho is suitable for specific fluorescence imaging of SK-Hep-1 cells overexpressing FR and inactive in FR-negative A549 and 16-HBE cells. FA-GFLG-SN38 exhibited strong cytotoxicity against FR-overexpressing SK-Hep-1, HeLa, and Siha cells, with IC50 values of 2–3 μM, but had no effect on FR-negative A549 and 16-HBE cells. The experimental results show that the FA-CFLG-SN38 drug delivery system proposed by us can effectively inhibit tumor proliferation in vitro, and it can be adopted for the diagnostics of tumor tissues and provide a basis for effective tumor therapy.