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Protein Nanoparticles as Drug Delivery Carriers for Cancer Therapy

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      Abstract

      Nanoparticles have increasingly been used for a variety of applications, most notably for the delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents. A large number of nanoparticle drug delivery systems have been developed for cancer treatment and various materials have been explored as drug delivery agents to improve the therapeutic efficacy and safety of anticancer drugs. Natural biomolecules such as proteins are an attractive alternative to synthetic polymers which are commonly used in drug formulations because of their safety. In general, protein nanoparticles offer a number of advantages including biocompatibility and biodegradability. They can be prepared under mild conditions without the use of toxic chemicals or organic solvents. Moreover, due to their defined primary structure, protein-based nanoparticles offer various possibilities for surface modifications including covalent attachment of drugs and targeting ligands. In this paper, we review the most significant advancements in protein nanoparticle technology and their use in drug delivery arena. We then examine the various sources of protein materials that have been used successfully for the construction of protein nanoparticles as well as their methods of preparation. Finally, we discuss the applications of protein nanoparticles in cancer therapy.

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      Most cited references 97

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      Albumin as a drug carrier: design of prodrugs, drug conjugates and nanoparticles.

       Felix Kratz (2008)
      Albumin is playing an increasing role as a drug carrier in the clinical setting. Principally, three drug delivery technologies can be distinguished: coupling of low-molecular weight drugs to exogenous or endogenous albumin, conjugation with bioactive proteins and encapsulation of drugs into albumin nanoparticles. The accumulation of albumin in solid tumors forms the rationale for developing albumin-based drug delivery systems for tumor targeting. Clinically, a methotrexate-albumin conjugate, an albumin-binding prodrug of doxorubicin, i.e. the (6-maleimido)caproylhydrazone derivative of doxorubicin (DOXO-EMCH), and an albumin paclitaxel nanoparticle (Abraxane) have been evaluated clinically. Abraxane has been approved for treating metastatic breast cancer. An alternative strategy is to bind a therapeutic peptide or protein covalently or physically to albumin to enhance its stability and half-life. This approach has been applied to peptides with antinociceptive, antidiabetes, antitumor or antiviral activity: Levemir, a myristic acid derivative of insulin that binds to the fatty acid binding sites of circulating albumin, has been approved for the treatment of diabetes. Furthermore, Albuferon, a fusion protein of albumin and interferon, is currently being assessed in phase III clinical trials for the treatment of hepatitis C and could become an alternative to pegylated interferon. This review gives an account of the different drug delivery systems which make use of albumin as a drug carrier with a focus on those systems that have reached an advanced stage of preclinical evaluation or that have entered clinical trials.
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        Biodegradable long-circulating polymeric nanospheres.

        Injectable nanoparticulate carriers have important potential applications such as site-specific drug delivery or medical imaging. Conventional carriers, however, cannot generally be used because they are eliminated by the reticulo-endothelial system within seconds or minutes after intravenous injection. To address these limitations, monodisperse biodegradable nanospheres were developed from amphiphilic copolymers composed of two biocompatible blocks. The nanospheres exhibited dramatically increased blood circulation times and reduced liver accumulation in mice. Furthermore, they entrapped up to 45 percent by weight of the drug in the dense core in a one-step procedure and could be freeze-dried and easily redispersed without additives in aqueous solutions.
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          Increased antitumor activity, intratumor paclitaxel concentrations, and endothelial cell transport of cremophor-free, albumin-bound paclitaxel, ABI-007, compared with cremophor-based paclitaxel.

          ABI-007, an albumin-bound, 130-nm particle form of paclitaxel, was developed to avoid Cremophor/ethanol-associated toxicities in Cremophor-based paclitaxel (Taxol) and to exploit albumin receptor-mediated endothelial transport. We studied the antitumor activity, intratumoral paclitaxel accumulation, and endothelial transport for ABI-007 and Cremophor-based paclitaxel. Antitumor activity and mortality were assessed in nude mice bearing human tumor xenografts [lung (H522), breast (MX-1), ovarian (SK-OV-3), prostate (PC-3), and colon (HT29)] treated with ABI-007 or Cremophor-based paclitaxel. Intratumoral paclitaxel concentrations (MX-1-tumored mice) were compared for radiolabeled ABI-007 and Cremophor-based paclitaxel. In vitro endothelial transcytosis and Cremophor inhibition of paclitaxel binding to cells and albumin was compared for ABI-007 and Cremophor-based paclitaxel. Both ABI-007 and Cremophor-based paclitaxel caused tumor regression and prolonged survival; the order of sensitivity was lung > breast congruent with ovary > prostate > colon. The LD(50) and maximum tolerated dose for ABI-007 and Cremophor-based paclitaxel were 47 and 30 mg/kg/d and 30 and 13.4 mg/kg/d, respectively. At equitoxic dose, the ABI-007-treated groups showed more complete regressions, longer time to recurrence, longer doubling time, and prolonged survival. At equal dose, tumor paclitaxel area under the curve was 33% higher for ABI-007 versus Cremophor-based paclitaxel, indicating more effective intratumoral accumulation of ABI-007. Endothelial binding and transcytosis of paclitaxel were markedly higher for ABI-007 versus Cremophor-based paclitaxel, and this difference was abrogated by a known inhibitor of endothelial gp60 receptor/caveolar transport. In addition, Cremophor was found to inhibit binding of paclitaxel to endothelial cells and albumin. Enhanced endothelial cell binding and transcytosis for ABI-007 and inhibition by Cremophor in Cremophor-based paclitaxel may account in part for the greater efficacy and intratumor delivery of ABI-007.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
            2Pathology and Physiology Research Branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
            3Natural Science Division, Alderson-Broaddus College, Philippi, WV 26416, USA
            4Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
            Author notes
            *Yon Rojanasakul: yrojan@ 123456hsc.wvu.edu

            Academic Editor: Wai Kiong Ng

            Journal
            Biomed Res Int
            Biomed Res Int
            BMRI
            BioMed Research International
            Hindawi Publishing Corporation
            2314-6133
            2314-6141
            2014
            20 March 2014
            : 2014
            24772414
            3977416
            10.1155/2014/180549
            Copyright © 2014 Warangkana Lohcharoenkal et al.

            This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Funding
            Funded by: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000001 National Science Foundation
            Award ID: EPS-1003907
            Funded by: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000002 National Institutes of Health
            Award ID: R01-HL095579
            Categories
            Review Article

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