Degradable Bottlebrush Polypeptides and the Impact of Their Architecture on Cell Uptake, Pharmacokinetics, and Biodistribution In Vivo
Strasser, Paul, Bianca Montsch, Silvia Weiss, Haider Sami, Christoph Kugler, Sonja Hager, Hemma Schueffl, Robert Mader, Oliver Brüggemann, Christian R. Kowol, Manfred Ogris, Petra Heffeter, and Ian Teasdale
Bottlebrush polymers are highly promising as unimolecular nanomedicines due to their unique control over the critical parameters of size, shape and chemical function. However, since they are prepared from biopersistent carbon backbones, most known bottlebrush polymers are non-degradable and thus unsuitable for systemic therapeutic administration. Herein, we report the design and synthesis of novel poly(organo)phosphazene-g-poly(α-glutamate) (PPz-g-PGA) bottlebrush polymers with exceptional control over their structure and molecular dimensions (Dh ≈ 15?50 nm). These single macromolecules show outstanding aqueous solubility, ultra-high multivalency and biodegradability, making them ideal as nanomedicines. While well-established in polymer therapeutics, it has hitherto not been possible to prepare defined single macromolecules of PGA in these nanosized dimensions. A direct correlation was observed between the macromolecular dimensions of the bottlebrush polymers and their intracellular uptake in CT26 colon cancer cells. Furthermore, the bottlebrush macromolecular structure visibly enhanced the pharmacokinetics by reducing renal clearance and extending plasma half-lives. Real-time analysis of the biodistribution dynamics showed architecture-driven organ distribution and enhanced tumor accumulation. This work, therefore, introduces a robust, controlled synthesis route to bottlebrush polypeptides, overcoming limitations of current polymer-based nanomedicines and, in doing so, offers valuable insights into the influence of architecture on the in vivo performance of nanomedicines.
unimolecular nanomedicines,Bottlebrush polymer,