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RGD-Modified Apoferritin Nanoparticles for Efficient Drug Delivery to Tumors

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journal contribution
posted on 25.06.2013, 00:00 authored by Zipeng Zhen, Wei Tang, Hongmin Chen, Xin Lin, Trever Todd, Geoffrey Wang, Taku Cowger, Xiaoyuan Chen, Jin Xie
Ferritin (FRT) is a major iron storage protein found in humans and most living organisms. Each ferritin is composed of 24 subunits, which self-assemble to form a cage-like nanostructure. FRT nanocages can be genetically modified to present a peptide sequence on the surface. Recently, we demonstrated that Cys-Asp-Cys-Arg-Gly-Asp-Cys-Phe-Cys (RGD4C)-modified ferritin can efficiently home to tumors through RGD–integrin αvβ3 interaction. Though promising, studies on evaluating surface modified ferritin nanocages as drug delivery vehicles have seldom been reported. Herein, we showed that after being precomplexed with Cu(II), doxorubicin can be loaded onto RGD modified apoferritin nanocages with high efficiency (up to 73.49 wt %). When studied on U87MG subcutaneous tumor models, these doxorubicin-loaded ferritin nanocages showed a longer circulation half-life, higher tumor uptake, better tumor growth inhibition, and less cardiotoxicity than free doxorubicin. Such a technology might be extended to load a broad range of therapeutics and holds great potential in clinical translation.