Nuclear and cytoplasmic delivery of lactoferrin in glioma using chitosan nanoparticles: Cellular location dependent-action of lactoferrin

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Lactoferrin (Lf) exerts anti-cancer effects on glioma, however, the exact mechanism remains unclear. Despite possessing a nuclear localization sequence (NLS), Lf was found to allocate only in the cytoplasm of glioma 261. Lf was therefore loaded into nuclear and cytoplasmic targeted nanoparticles (NPs) to determine whether nuclear delivery of Lf would enhance its anti-cancer effect. Upon treatment with 300 and 800 μg/mL Lf loaded chitosan NPs, nuclear targeted Lf-NPs showed 1.3 and 2.7 folds increase in cell viability, whereas cytoplasmic targeted Lf-NPs at 300 μg/mL decreased cell viability by 0.8 folds in comparison to free Lf and controls. Results suggest that the cytotoxicity of Lf on glioma is attributable to its cytoplasmic allocation. Nuclear delivery of Lf induced cell proliferation rather than cytotoxicity, indicating that the mode of action of Lf in glioma is cell location dependent. This calls for caution about the general use of Lf as an anti-cancer protein.

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