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      iTEP Nanoparticle-Delivered Salinomycin Displays an Enhanced Toxicity to Cancer Stem Cells in Orthotopic Breast Tumors

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          Salinomycin (Sali) has selective toxicity to cancer stem cells (CSCs), a subpopulation of cancer cells that have been recently linked with tumor multidrug resistance (MDR). To utilize its selective toxicity for cancer therapy, we sought to devise a nanoparticle (NP) carrier to deliver Sali to solid tumors through the enhanced permeability and retention effect and, hence, to increase its exposure to CSCs. First, hydrophobic Sali was conjugated to a hydrophilic, immune-tolerant, elastin-like polypeptide (iTEP); the amphiphilic iTEP–Sali conjugates self-assemble into NPs. Next, free Sali was encapsulated into the NPs alone or with two additives, N, N-dimethylhexylamine (DMHA) and α-tocopherol. The coencapsulation significantly improved the loading efficiency and release profile of Sali. The resulting NPs of the coencapsulation, termed as iTEP–Sali NP3s, have an in vitro release half-life of 4.1 h, four times longer than iTEP–Sali NP2s, the NPs that have encapsulated Sali only. Further, the NP3 formulation increases the plasma area under curve and the tumor accumulation of Sali by 10 and 2.4 times, respectively. Lastly, these improved pharmacokinetic and tumor accumulation profiles are consistent with a boost of CSC-elimination effect of Sali in vivo. In NP3-treated 4T1 orthotopic tumors, the mean CSC frequency is 55.62%, a significant reduction from the mean frequencies of untreated tumors, 75.00%, or free Sali-treated tumors, 64.32%. The CSC-elimination effect of the NP3 can further translate to a delay of tumor growth. Given the role of CSCs in driving tumor MDR and recurrence, it could be a promising strategy to add the NP3 to conventional cancer chemotherapies to prevent or reverse the MDR.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Prospective identification of tumorigenic breast cancer cells.

          Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in United States women, accounting for >40,000 deaths each year. These breast tumors are comprised of phenotypically diverse populations of breast cancer cells. Using a model in which human breast cancer cells were grown in immunocompromised mice, we found that only a minority of breast cancer cells had the ability to form new tumors. We were able to distinguish the tumorigenic (tumor initiating) from the nontumorigenic cancer cells based on cell surface marker expression. We prospectively identified and isolated the tumorigenic cells as CD44(+)CD24(-/low)Lineage(-) in eight of nine patients. As few as 100 cells with this phenotype were able to form tumors in mice, whereas tens of thousands of cells with alternate phenotypes failed to form tumors. The tumorigenic subpopulation could be serially passaged: each time cells within this population generated new tumors containing additional CD44(+)CD24(-/low)Lineage(-) tumorigenic cells as well as the phenotypically diverse mixed populations of nontumorigenic cells present in the initial tumor. The ability to prospectively identify tumorigenic cancer cells will facilitate the elucidation of pathways that regulate their growth and survival. Furthermore, because these cells drive tumor development, strategies designed to target this population may lead to more effective therapies.
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            Glioma stem cells promote radioresistance by preferential activation of the DNA damage response.

            Ionizing radiation represents the most effective therapy for glioblastoma (World Health Organization grade IV glioma), one of the most lethal human malignancies, but radiotherapy remains only palliative because of radioresistance. The mechanisms underlying tumour radioresistance have remained elusive. Here we show that cancer stem cells contribute to glioma radioresistance through preferential activation of the DNA damage checkpoint response and an increase in DNA repair capacity. The fraction of tumour cells expressing CD133 (Prominin-1), a marker for both neural stem cells and brain cancer stem cells, is enriched after radiation in gliomas. In both cell culture and the brains of immunocompromised mice, CD133-expressing glioma cells survive ionizing radiation in increased proportions relative to most tumour cells, which lack CD133. CD133-expressing tumour cells isolated from both human glioma xenografts and primary patient glioblastoma specimens preferentially activate the DNA damage checkpoint in response to radiation, and repair radiation-induced DNA damage more effectively than CD133-negative tumour cells. In addition, the radioresistance of CD133-positive glioma stem cells can be reversed with a specific inhibitor of the Chk1 and Chk2 checkpoint kinases. Our results suggest that CD133-positive tumour cells represent the cellular population that confers glioma radioresistance and could be the source of tumour recurrence after radiation. Targeting DNA damage checkpoint response in cancer stem cells may overcome this radioresistance and provide a therapeutic model for malignant brain cancers.
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              Tumour stem cells and drug resistance.

              The contribution of tumorigenic stem cells to haematopoietic cancers has been established for some time, and cells possessing stem-cell properties have been described in several solid tumours. Although chemotherapy kills most cells in a tumour, it is believed to leave tumour stem cells behind, which might be an important mechanism of resistance. For example, the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) drug transporters have been shown to protect cancer stem cells from chemotherapeutic agents. Gaining a better insight into the mechanisms of stem-cell resistance to chemotherapy might therefore lead to new therapeutic targets and better anticancer strategies.

                Author and article information

                Mol Pharm
                Mol. Pharm
                Molecular Pharmaceutics
                American Chemical Society
                24 June 2015
                24 June 2014
                04 August 2014
                : 11
                : 8 , Drug Delivery and Reversal of MDR
                : 2703-2712
                []Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, The University of Utah , 30S 2000E, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, United States
                []Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems, Duke University , Durham, North Carolina 27708-0271, United States
                Author notes
                Copyright © 2014 American Chemical Society

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