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Doxorubicin-Loaded Micelle Targeting MUC1: A Potential Therapeutic for MUC1 Triple Negative Breast Cancer Treatment

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Background: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive disease associated with poor prognosis and lack of validated targeted therapy. Thus chemotherapy is a main adjuvant treatment for TNBC patients, but it associates with severe toxicities. For a better treatment outcome, we developed an alternative therapeutic, doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded micelles targeting human mucin1 protein (MUC1) that is less toxic, more effective and targeted to TNBC.

Methods: From many candidate peptides, QNDRHPR-GGGSK (QND) and HSQLPQV-GGGSK (HSQ) were identified computationally, synthesized and purified using solid phase peptide synthesis and semipreparative HPLC. The peptides showed significant high binding to MUC1 expressing cells using a fluorescent microscope. The peptides were then conjugated on pegylated octadecyl lithocholate copolymer. DOX-encapsulated micelles were formed through self-assembly. MUC1-targeted micelles were characterized using dynamic light scattering (DLS) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Drug entrapment efficiency was examined using a microplate reader. Cytotoxicity, binding, and uptake were also investigated.

Results: Two types of DOX-loaded micelles with different targeting peptides, QND or HSQ, were developed. DOX-loaded micelles were spherical in shape with average particle size around 300-320 nm. Drug entrapment efficiency of untargeted and targeted DOX micelles was about 71-93%. Targeted QND-DOX and HSQ-DOX micelles exhibited significantly higher cytotoxicity compared to free DOX and untargeted DOX micelles on BT549-Luc cells. In addition, significantly greater binding and uptake were observed for QND-DOX and HSQ-DOX micelles on BT549-Luc and T47D cells.

Conclusion: Taken together, these results suggested that QND-DOX and HSQ-DOX micelles have a potential application in the treatment of TNBC-expressing MUC1.
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Keywords: Human mucin1 protein (MUC1); doxorubicin; micelles; pegylation; targeted therapy; triple negative breast cancer

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

This article was made available online on August 28, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Doxorubicin-Loaded Micelle Targeting MUC1: A Potential Therapeutic for MUC1 Triple Negative Breast Cancer Treatment".

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  • The aim of Current Drug Delivery is to publish peer-reviewed articles, short communications, short and in-depth reviews in the rapidly developing field of drug delivery. Modern drug research aims to build in delivery properties of a drug at the design phase, however in many cases this ideal cannot be met and the development of delivery systems becomes as important as the development as the drugs themselves.

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    The journal is essential for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug design, development and delivery.
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