Multifunctional aptamer-based nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery to circumvent cancer resistance

July 28, 2017


Multifunctional aptamer-based nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery to circumvent cancer resistance


Juan Liu, Tuo Wei, Jing Zhao, Yuanyu Huang, Hua Deng, Anil Kumar, Chenxuan Wang, Zicai Liang, Xiaowei Ma, Xing-Jie Liang






By its unique advantages over traditional medicine, nanomedicine has offered new strategies for cancer treatment. In particular, the development of drug delivery strategies has focused on nanoscale particles to improve bioavailability. However, many of these nanoparticles are unable to overcome tumor resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. Recently, new opportunities for drug delivery have been provided by oligonucleotides that can self-assemble into three-dimensional nanostructures. In this work, we have designed and developed functional DNA nanostructures to deliver the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin (Dox) to resistant cancer cells. These nanostructures have two components. The first component is a DNA aptamer, which forms a dimeric G-quadruplex nanostructure to target cancer cells by binding with nucleolin. The second component is double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), which is rich in -GC- base pairs that can be applied for Dox delivery. We demonstrated that Dox was able to efficiently intercalate into dsDNA and this intercalation did not affect the aptamer's three-dimensional structure. In addition, the Aptamer-dsDNA (ApS) nanoparticle showed good stability and protected the dsDNA from degradation in bovine serum. More importantly, the ApS&Dox nanoparticle efficiently reversed the resistance of human breast cancer cells to Dox. The mechanism circumventing doxorubicin resistance by ApS&Dox nanoparticles may be predominantly by cell cycle arrest in S phase, effectively increased cell uptake and decreased cell efflux of doxorubicin. Furthermore, the ApS&Dox nanoparticles could effectively inhibit tumor growth, while less cardiotoxicity was observed. Overall, this functional DNA nanostructure provides new insights into the design of nanocarriers to overcome multidrug resistance through targeted drug delivery.




Circular dichroism, Nanostructures, Pharmaceutical, Materials, Biochemistry, Medicinal