Synthetic high-density lipoprotein nanoconjugate targets neuroblastoma stem cells, blocking migration and self-renewal

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Abstract

Background:

Pathways critical for neuroblastoma cancer stem cell function are targeted by 4,19,27-triacetyl withalongolide A (WGA-TA). Because neuroblastoma cells and their cancer stem cells highly overexpress the scavenger receptor class B type 1 receptor that binds to synthetic high-density lipoprotein, we hypothesized that a novel mimetic synthetic high-density lipoprotein nanoparticle would be an ideal carrier for the delivery of 4,19,27-triacetyl withalongolide to neuroblastoma and neuroblastoma cancer stem cells.

Methods:

Expression of scavenger receptor class B type 1 in validated human neuroblastoma cells was evaluated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and Western blot. In vitro cellular uptake of synthetic high-density lipoprotein nanoparticles was observed with a fluorescence microscope. In vivo biodistribution of synthetic high-density lipoprotein nanoparticles was investigated with IVIS imaging. Self-renewal and migration/invasion were assessed by sphere formation and Boyden chamber assays, respectively. Viability was analyzed by CellTiter-Glo assay. Cancer stem cell markers were evaluated by flow cytometry.

Results:

qPCR and Western blot analysis revealed a higher level of scavenger receptor class B type 1 expression and drug uptake in N-myc amplified neuroblastoma cells. In vitro uptake of synthetic high-density lipoprotein was almost completely blocked by excess synthetic high-density lipoprotein. The synthetic high-density lipoprotein nanoparticles mainly accumulated in the tumor and liver, but not in other organs. Synthetic HDL-4,19,27-triacetyl withalongolide showed a 1,000-fold higher potency than the carrier (synthetic high-density lipoprotein) alone (P < .01) to kill neuroblastoma cells. Additionally, a dose-dependent decrease in sphere formation, invasion, migration, and cancer stem cell markers was observed after treatment of neuroblastoma cells with synthetic high-density lipoprotein–4,19,27-triacetyl withalongolide A.

Conclusion:

Synthetic high-density lipoprotein is a promising platform to improve the delivery of anticancer drug 4,19,27-triacetyl withalongolide A to neuroblastomas and neuroblastoma cancer stem cells through SR-B1 targeting in vitro and in vivo.

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