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See detailCellular uptake of long-circulating pH-sensitive liposomes: evaluation of the liposome and its encapsulated material penetration in cancer cells
Ducat, Emilie ULg; Deprez, Julie ULg; Peulen, Olivier ULg et al

in Drug Discovery Today (2010, December), 15(23-24), 1079-1114

Print 3G, a peptidic antagonist of oncoprotein involved in breast cancer, could reduce the angiogenic development of breast tumors, leading to tumor dormancy. The necessity of intravenous administration ... [more ▼]

Print 3G, a peptidic antagonist of oncoprotein involved in breast cancer, could reduce the angiogenic development of breast tumors, leading to tumor dormancy. The necessity of intravenous administration of Print 3G led to the development of long-circulating liposomes as drug carriers. Pegylated liposomes, too large to be collected by fenestrated organs, accumulate passively in solid tumors thanks to the EPR effect. The strategy was to combine the protective properties of PEG with the transfection properties of pH-sensitive lipids which could promote the uptake of liposomes by cells and avoid lysosomal sequestration and degradation of entrapped materials such as peptides. In this study, we compare two formulations in terms of cellular uptake using confocal microscopy. The first one is composed of SPC:CHOL:mPEG-750-DSPE (47:47:6), used as "standard" liposomes, and the second one of DOPE:CHEMS:CHOL:mPEG750-DSPE (43:21:30:6), used as pH-sensitive liposomes. First, we evaluated the penetration of an encapsulated model molecule, calcein, in Hs578t human breast cancer epithelial cells. When calcein was encapsulated in standard liposomes, its penetration was effective only in few cells. On the contrary, a majority of cells were fluorescent when calcein-loaded pH-sensitive liposomes were applied for 3 hours on cells. Secondly, we studied the penetration of liposomes themselves in Hs578t cells using 25-[(nitrobenzoxadiazolyl)methylamino]nor-cholesterol (NBD-CHOL) as a fluorescent marker of the phospholipid membrane. The obtained results were comparable to those obtained with calcein: a higher penetration of liposome was observed for pH-sensitive liposomes. Finally, the cellular uptake of liposomes using both NBD-CHOL and rhodamine encapsulated in the inner cavity of vesicles was evaluated with Hs578t cells and compared with WI26 human diploid lung fibroblast cells. Thanks to this experiment, we could follow simultaneously the cell distribution of the encapsulated material and of the liposome itself. Confocal pictures obtained with pH-sensitive liposomes on both WI26 and Hs578t cells allow us to visualize the co-localized red and green colors of rhodamine and NBD-CHOL, with a higher concentrated area near the nucleus. In comparison with "standard" liposomes, we observed a higher penetration of the encapsulated material and of the liposome itself in breast cancer cells. Moreover, we visualized a colocalization near the nucleus of liposomes components. Concerning results obtained with fibroblastic cells, there was no difference in terms of cellular uptake between the two formulations. In perspective, we would like to compare these results, obtained with model molecules, with experiments performed with biotinylated Print 3G to assess its cellular distribution. Moreover, it would be interesting to correlate results obtained with confocal microscopy with a possible increase of the peptide efficacy against cancer cells when it is encapsulated in long-circulating pH-sensitive liposomes. [less ▲]

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