A glucose-targeted mixed micellar formulation outperforms Genexol in breast cancer cells
Breast cancer represents the top cancer among women, accounting 521.000 deaths per year. Development of targeted nanomedicines to breast cancer tissues represents a milestone to reduce chemotherapy side effects. Taking advantage of the over-expression of glucose (Glu) membrane transporters in breast cancer cells, we aim to expand the potential of a paclitaxel (PTX)-loaded mixed micellar formulation based on polyvinyl caprolactam-polyvinylacetate-polyethylene glycol graft copolymer (Soluplus®) and D-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS) by its surface decoration with Glu moieties. The glycopolymer (Soluplus(Glu)) was obtained by microwave-assisted ring opening reaction of δ-gluconolactone initiated by Soluplus®. The glycosylation was confirmed by 1H NMR and by agglutination assays employing Concanavalin A. The hydrodynamic diameter of Soluplus(Glu) micelles was characterized by dynamic light scattering (100.3 ± 3.8 nm) as well as the critical micellar concentration value (0.0151% w/v). Then, a mixed micelle formulation employing Soluplus®, Soluplus(Glu) and TPGS (3:1:1 wt ratio) loaded with PTX (4 mg/mL) was developed as a multifunctional nanocarrier. Its in vitro anticancer performance in MCF-7 (1.6-fold) and MDA-MB-231 (14.1-fold) was significantly enhanced (p < 0.05) versus the unique commercially available micellar-based PTX-nanoformulation (Genexol®). Furthermore, the in vitro PTX cellular uptake assays revealed that the drug intracellular/cell content was significantly (p < 0.05) higher for the Glu-containing mixed micelles versus Genexol® after 6 h of incubation with MCF-7 (30.5-fold) and MDA-MB-231 (5-fold). Overall, results confirmed the potential of our Glu-decorated mixed colloidal formulation as an intelligent nanocarrier for PTX-targeted breast cancer chemotherapy.