Nanotheranostics 2019; 3(4):311-330. doi:10.7150/ntno.38954

Research Paper

Enhanced blood-brain-barrier penetrability and tumor-targeting efficiency by peptide-functionalized poly(amidoamine) dendrimer for the therapy of gliomas

Changliang Liu1,2*, Zijian Zhao1*, Houqian Gao1,2, Iman Rostami1, Qing You1,2, Xinru Jia3, Chen Wang1,2✉, Ling Zhu1✉, Yanlian Yang1,2✉

1. CAS Key Laboratory of Standardization and Measurement for Nanotechnology, CAS Key Laboratory of Biological Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing 100190, China
2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3. Department of Chemistry, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
*These authors contributed equally to this paper.

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Citation:
Liu C, Zhao Z, Gao H, Rostami I, You Q, Jia X, Wang C, Zhu L, Yang Y. Enhanced blood-brain-barrier penetrability and tumor-targeting efficiency by peptide-functionalized poly(amidoamine) dendrimer for the therapy of gliomas. Nanotheranostics 2019; 3(4):311-330. doi:10.7150/ntno.38954. Available from http://www.ntno.org/v03p0311.htm

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Abstract

Glioblastoma is one of the most common primary tumor types of central nervous system (CNS) with high malignance and lethality. Although many treatment options are currently available, the therapy of brain cancers remains challenging because of blood-brain-barrier (BBB) which prevents most of the chemotherapeutics into the CNS. In this work, a poly(amidoamine) dendrimer-based carrier was fabricated and modified with angiopep-2 (Ang2) peptide that has been demonstrated to bind to low density lipoprotein receptor-relative protein-1 (LRP1) on the endothelial cells of BBB and could therefore induce BBB penetration of the carrier. To improve tumor-targeting effect towards the glioma sites, the dendrimer was simultaneously functionalized with an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeting peptide (EP-1) which was screened from a “one-bead one-compound” (OBOC) combinatorial library. EP-1 peptide was demonstrated to have high affinity and specificity to EGFR at both the molecular and cellular levels. The dual-targeting dendrimer exhibited outstanding BBB penetrability and glioma targeting efficiency both in vitro and in vivo, which strikingly enhanced the anti-gliomas effect of the drugs and prolonged the survival of gliomas-bearing mice. These results show the potential of the dual-targeting dendrimer-based carrier in the therapy of gliomas through enhancing BBB penetrability and tumor targeting.

Keywords: poly(amidoamine) dendrimer, central nervous system, dual-targeting, blood-brain-barrier, glioblastoma