Construction and biological evaluation of different self-assembled nanoarchitectures of FZU-03,010

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Chemotherapy is currently one of the promising therapeutic methods for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but the emergence of multidrug resistance (MDR) is the greatest obstacle to efficient drug delivery for successful chemotherapy. Nanotechnology-based drug delivery holds great promise to promote intracellular drug delivery to reverse MDR. In this work, we used our previously synthesized ursolic acid (UA) derivative, FZU-03,010 (F3), to prepare nanodrugs of F3 with different architectures and study the role of the structure on the physiochemical properties and the biological effects against A549 and its PTX-resistant A549/PTX lung cancer cells. Using different preparation methods, amphiphilic F3 could self-assemble into different structures such as nanoaggregates (F3-NA), vesicles (F3-VC), or nanoparticles (F3-NP) with different physiochemical properties. The self-assembled nanodrugs could be utilized for the entrapment of fluorophores and showed different cellular uptake efficiencies. The cytotoxicity results demonstrated that compared with UA, F3-NA and F3-NP could suppress A549 and A549/PTX cells viability more potently at lower concentration. In addition, F3-NA and F3-NP could induce G1 cell cycle arrest, cell apoptosis and caspase-3 activation more efficiently than that of UA. Furthermore, F3-NA and F3-NP could effectively inhibit PI3K/Akt pathway and decrease the expression of Bcl-2 and the cell cycle-dependent kinase inhibitors p-ERK1/2 and Cyclin D1 in both A549 and A549/PTX cells. In conclusion, our results suggest that the UA derivative F3 is more potent in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation, and F3-NA and F3-NP have the potential to be developed as a therapeutic agent for resistant NSCLC cells.Graphical Abstract

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