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Reshaping Tumor Immune Microenvironment through Acidity-Responsive Nanoparticles Featured with CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Programmed Death-Ligand 1 Attenuation and Chemotherapeutics-Induced Immunogenic Cell Death

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posted on 2020-03-30, 15:05 authored by Kun Tu, Huan Deng, Li Kong, Yi Wang, Ting Yang, Qian Hu, Mei Hu, Conglian Yang, Zhiping Zhang
Blocking immune checkpoints with monoclonal antibody has been verified to achieve potential clinical successes for cancer immunotherapy. However, its application has been impeded by the “cold” tumor microenvironment. Here, weak acidity-responsive nanoparticles co-loaded with CRISPR/Cas9 and paclitaxel (PTX) with the ability to convert “cold” tumor into “hot” tumor are reported. The nanoparticles exhibited high cargo packaging capacity, superior transfection efficiency, well biocompatibility, and effective tumor accumulation. The CRISPR/Cas9 encapsulated in nanoparticles could specifically knock out cyclin-dependent kinase 5 gene to significantly attenuate the expression of programmed death-ligand 1 on tumor cells. More importantly, PTX co-delivered in nanoparticles could significantly induce immunogenic cell death, reduce regulatory T lymphocytes, repolarize tumor-associated macrophages, and enhance antitumor immunity. Therefore, the nanoparticles could effectively convert cold tumor into hot tumor, achieve effective tumor growth inhibition, and prolong overall survival from 16 to 36 days. This research provided a referable strategy for the development of combinatorial immunotherapy and chemotherapy.

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