Modulating angiogenesis with integrin-targeted nanomedicines☆
Targeting angiogenesis-related pathologies, which include tumorigenesis and metastatic processes, has become an attractive strategy for the development of efficient guided nanomedicines. In this respect, integrins are cell-adhesion molecules involved in angiogenesis signaling pathways and are overexpressed in many angiogenic processes. Therefore, they represent specific biomarkers not only to monitor disease progression but also to rationally design targeted nanomedicines. Arginine-glycine-aspartic (RGD) containing peptides that bind to specific integrins have been widely utilized to provide ligand-mediated targeting capabilities to small molecules, peptides, proteins, and antibodies, as well as to drug/imaging agent-containing nanomedicines, with the final aim of maximizing their therapeutic index. Within this review, we aim to cover recent and relevant examples of different integrin-assisted nanosystems including polymeric nanoconstructs, liposomes, and inorganic nanoparticles applied in drug/gene therapy as well as imaging and theranostics. We will also critically address the overall benefits of integrin-targeting.