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The Effect of Molecular Structure on Cytotoxicity and Antitumor Activity of PEGylated Nanomedicines

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journal contribution
posted on 02.04.2018, 00:00 by Wenhai Lin, Lei Yin, Tingting Sun, Tingting Wang, Zhigang Xie, Jingkai Gu, Xiabin Jing
Fundamental studies on the cellular uptake and drug release of PEGylated nanomedicines are beneficial to understand their fate in vivo and construct ideal nanoparticle formulations. In this work, the detailed metabolic process of PEGylated doxorubicin (Dox) nanomedicines were investigated via confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), flow cytometry (FCM), cytotoxicity test, fluorescence imaging in vivo (FLIV) and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Among them, only LC-MS/MS could accurately determine the content of PEGylated Dox and Dox in vitro and in vivo. To the best of our knowledge, this was the first time the PEGylated Dox and released Dox were simultaneously quantified. The interplay of molecular structures, cellular uptake, drug release, and antitumor effect was well characterized. PEG with high molecular weight impeded the cellular uptake of nanoparticles, and the acid-labile hydrazone bond between Dox and PEG promoted Dox release significantly. Cellular uptake and drug release play decisive roles in cytotoxicity and antitumor effect, as evidenced by LC-MS/MS. We emphasized that LC-MS/MS would be a practicable method to quantify PEGylated drugs without complex tags, which could be more in-depth to understand the interaction between PEGylated nanomedicines and their antitumor efficacy.