Highly efficacious and specific anti-glioma chemotherapy by tandem nanomicelles co-functionalized with brain tumor-targeting and cell-penetrating peptides

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Abstract

Glioma is a highly challenging human malignancy as drugs typically exhibit a low blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability as well as poor glioma selectivity and penetration. Here, we report that tandem nanomicelles co-functionalized with brain tumor-targeting and cell-penetrating peptides, Angiopep-2 and TAT, enable a highly efficacious and specific anti-glioma chemotherapy. Interestingly, tandem nanomicelles with 20mol% Angiopep-2 and 10mol% TAT linked via long and short poly(ethylene glycol)s, respectively, while maintaining a high glioma cell selectivity display markedly enhanced BBB permeation, glioma accumulation and penetration, and glioma cell uptake. We further show that docetaxel-loaded tandem nanomicelles have a long blood circulation time in mice and significantly better inhibit orthotopic U87MG human glioma than the corresponding Angiopep-2 single peptide-functionalized control, leading to an improved survival rate with little adverse effects. These tandem nanomicelles uniquely combining brain tumor-targeting and cell-penetrating functions provide a novel and effective strategy for targeted glioma therapy.

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