Denatured protein-coated docetaxel nanoparticles: Alterable drug state and cytosolic delivery
Many lead compounds have a low solubility in water, which substantially hinders their clinical application. Nanosuspensions have been considered a promising strategy for the delivery of water-insoluble drugs. Here, denatured soy protein isolate (SPI)-coated docetaxel nanosuspensions (DTX-NS) were developed using an anti-solvent precipitation-ultrasonication method to improve the water-solubility of DTX, thus improving its intracellular delivery. DTX-NS, with a diameter of 150–250 nm and drug-loading up to 18.18%, were successfully prepared by coating drug particles with SPI. Interestingly, the drug state of DTX-NS was alterable. Amorphous drug nanoparticles were obtained at low drug-loading, whereas at a high drug-loading, the DTX-NS drug was mainly present in the crystalline state. Moreover, DTX-NS could be internalized at high levels by cancer cells and enter the cytosol by lysosomal escape, enhancing cell cytotoxicity and apoptosis compared with free DTX. Taken together, denatured SPI has a strong stabilization effect on nanosuspensions, and the drug state in SPI-coated nanosuspensions is alterable by changing the drug-loading. Moreover, DTX-NS could achieve cytosolic delivery, generating enhanced cell cytotoxicity against cancer cells.