pH-sensitive folic acid and dNP2 peptide dual-modified liposome for enhanced targeted chemotherapy of glioma

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Effective chemotherapy for clinical glioma treatment is still lacking due to the poor penetration of blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the poor internalization into tumor cells. To facilitate the transmigration across the BBB as well as the glioma targeting of chemotherapeutics, we constructed cell penetrating peptide dNP2 and tumor microenvironment-cleavable folic acid (FA) dual modified, paclitaxel (PTX) loaded liposome for the targeted delivery of glioma. The modification of dNP2 significantly enhanced the transmigration across the BBB in an in vitro BBB model. The acid-cleavable cFd-Lip/PTX exhibited sensitive cleavage of FA at pH6.8, which led to enhanced cellular uptake mediated by both cell penetrating peptide dNP2 and the interaction between FA and folate receptor (FR) on the glioma cells. After intravenous injection, compared with non-cleavable Fd-Lip and single modified liposomes, cFd-Lip enhanced the accumulation in orthotropic glioma and improved the anti-tumor effect of glioma-bearing mice. The dual modified liposomes also facilitated deep penetration into tumor cells and consequently enhanced the cytotoxicity of PTX-loaded liposomes. The acid-cleavable dual modified strategy retained the BBB penetrating and tumor targeting ability, meanwhile, the cleavage of FA further maximized the cell permeability of dNP2, exhibiting enhanced tumor targeting effect. The multi-targeting strategy provides a promising approach towards targeted chemotherapy for glioma.

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