J Nanobiotechnology. 2021 Jul 5;19(1):200. doi: 10.1186/s12951-021-00947-9.
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have demonstrated that multidrug resistance (MDR) is a critical factor in the low efficacy of cancer chemotherapy. The main mechanism of MDR arises from the overexpression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), which actively enhances drug efflux and limits the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents.
RESULTS: In this study, we fabricated a "combo" nanoagent equipping with triple synergistic strategies for enhancing antitumor efficacy against MDR cells. Tumor homing-penetrating peptide endows the nanosystem with targeting and penetrating capabilities in the first stage of tumor internalization. The abundant amine groups of polyethylenimine (PEI)-modified nanoparticles then trigger a proton sponge effect to promote endo/lysosomal escape, which enhances the intracellular accumulation and retention of anticancer drugs. Furthermore, copper tetrakis(4-carboxyphenyl)porphyrin (CuTCPP) encapsulated in the nanosystem, effectively scavenges endogenous glutathione (GSH) to reduce the detoxification mediated by GSH and sensitize the cancer cells to drugs, while simultaneously serving as a photoacoustic imaging (PAI) contrast agent for image visualization. Moreover, we also verify that these versatile nanoparticles in combination with PD-1/PD-L1 blockade therapy can not only activate immunological responses but also inhibit P-gp expression to obliterate primary and metastatic tumors.
CONCLUSION: This work shows a significant enhancement in therapeutic efficacy against MDR cells and syngeneic tumors by using multiple MDR reversing strategies compared to an equivalent dose of free paclitaxel.