The intracellular uptake of CD95 modified paclitaxel-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microparticles.

PMID 21824652


The CD95/CD95L receptor-ligand system is mainly recognised in the induction of apoptosis. However, it has also been shown that CD95L is over-expressed in many cancer types where it modulates immune-evasion and together with its receptor CD95 promotes tumour growth. Here, we show that CD95 surface modification of relatively large microparticles >0.5 μm in diameter, including those made from biodegradable polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), enhances intracellular uptake by a range of CD95L expressing cells in a process akin to phagocytosis. Using this approach we describe the intracellular uptake of microparticles and agent delivery in neurons, medulloblastoma, breast and ovarian cancer cells in vitro. CD95 modified paclitaxel-loaded PLGA microparticles are shown to be significantly more effective compared to conventional paclitaxel therapy (Taxol) at the same dose in subcutaneous medulloblastoma (∗∗∗P < 0.0001) and orthotopic ovarian cancer xenograft models where a >65-fold reduction in tumour bioluminescence was measured after treatment (∗P = 0.012). This drug delivery platform represents a new way of manipulating the normally advantageous tumour CD95L over-expression towards a therapeutic strategy. CD95 functionalised drug carriers could contribute to the improved function of cytotoxics in cancer, potentially increasing drug targeting and efficacy whilst reducing toxicity.