International journal of nanomedicine

EpCAM aptamer-functionalized polydopamine-coated mesoporous silica nanoparticles loaded with DM1 for targeted therapy in colorectal cancer.

PMID 28894364


DM1, a maytansine derivative, is a highly potential cytotoxic agent but with severe side effects; therefore, its application in clinical cancer therapy is limited. Here, in order to mitigate this intrinsic drawback of DM1, we developed mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) loaded with DM1 and surface-decorated with hydrochloride dopamine (PDA), polyethylene glycol (PEG), and epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) aptamer (APt) for the targeted treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC). In this system, the PDA coating could be used as pH-sensitive gatekeepers to control the release of DM1 from MSNs in response to the pH stimulus and EpCAM APt-guided active targeting enables the increased delivery of DM1 to CRC as well as a reduction in toxicity and side effects by minimizing the exposure of normal tissues to DM1. Results demonstrated that DM1 inhibited the formation of microtubules and induced apoptosis in tumor cells via caspase signaling. In comparison with the control groups, the MSNs-DM1@PDA-PEG-APt bioconjugates exhibited increased binding ability and much higher cytotoxicity to the CRC SW480 cell line. Furthermore, in vivo assays confirmed the advantages of such a strategy. These findings suggested that MSNs-DM1@PDA-PEG-APt could represent a promising therapeutic platform for EpCAM-positive CRC.