Bioresponsive micro-to-nano albumin-based systems for targeted drug delivery against complex fungal infections
Just published in the latest issue of Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, Volume 11, Issue 10, October 2021, Pages 3220-3230.
As a typical human pathogenic fungus, Cryptococcus neoformans is a life-threatening invasive fungal pathogen with a worldwide distribution causing ∼700,000 deaths annually. Cryptococcosis is not just an infection with multi-organ involvement, intracellular survival and extracellular multiplication of the fungus also play important roles in the pathogenesis of C. neoformans infections. Because adequate accumulation of drugs at target organs and cells is still difficult to achieve, an effective delivery strategy is desperately required to treat these infections.
The authors of this article report a bioresponsive micro-to-nano (MTN) system that effectively clears the C. neoformans in vivo. This strategy is based on their in-depth study of the overexpression of matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP-3) in infectious microenvironments (IMEs) and secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) in several associated target cells. In this MTN system, bovine serum albumin (BSA, a natural ligand of SPARC) was used for the preparation of nanoparticles (NPs), and then microspheres were constructed by conjugation with a special linker, which mainly consisted of a BSA-binding peptide and an MMP-3-responsive peptide. This MTN system was mechanically captured by the smallest capillaries of the lungs after intravenous injection, and then hydrolyzed into BSA NPs by MMP-3 in the IMEs. The NPs further targeted the lung tissue, brain and infected macrophages based on the overexpression of SPARC, reaching multiple targets and achieving efficient treatment.
The authors have developed a size-tunable strategy where microspheres “shrink” to NPs in IMEs, which effectively combines active and passive targeting and may be especially powerful in the fight against complex fungal infections.
Article reference: Liting Cheng, Miao-Miao Niu, Tong Yan, Zhongyi Ma, Kexin Huang, Ling Yang, Xin Zhong, Chong Li, Bioresponsive micro-to-nano albumin-based systems for targeted drug delivery against complex fungal infections, Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, 2021, ISSN 2211-3835, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsb.2021.04.020
Keywords: Albumin, SPARC, MMP-3, Size-tunable strategy, Microenvironment responsive, Complex fungal infection
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The Journal of the Institute of Materia Medica, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.
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