Int J Pharm. 2021 May 6:120691. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2021.120691. Online ahead of print.
The high expression of multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1) in cancer cells caused serious multidrug resistance (MDR), which limited the effectiveness of paclitaxel (PTX) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) chemotherapy. Indomethacin (IND), a kind of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which has been confirmed to be a potential MRP1 inhibitor. Taking into account the advantages of old drugs without extra controversial biosafety issue, in this manuscript, the disulfide bond (-S-S-) was employed for connecting IND and PTX to construct conjugate IND-S-S-PTX, which was further self-assembled and formed nanodrug (IND-S-S-PTX NPs). The particle size of IND-S-S-PTX NPs was ∼160 nm with a narrow PDI value of 0.099, which distributed well in water and also exhibited a stable characteristic. Moreover, due to the existence of disulfide bond, the NPs were sensitive to the high level of glutathione (GSH) in tumor microenvironment. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation presented the process of self-assembly in detail. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations revealed that the main driving force in self-assembly process was originated from the van der waals force. In addition, this carrier-free nano drug delivery systems (nDDs) could reverse the MDR by downregulating the expression of MRP1 protein in A549/taxol.