Synthesis and Application of a pH-Responsive Functional Metal-Organic Framework: In Vitro Investigation for Delivery of Oridonin in Cancer Therapy


Molecules. 2024 Jun 4;29(11):2643. doi: 10.3390/molecules29112643.


Oridonin (Ori) is a naturally existing diterpenoid substance that mainly exists in the Chinese medicinal plant Rabdosia rubescens. It was previously found to possess intriguing biological properties; however, the quick clearance from plasma and limited solubility in water restricts its use as a drug. Several metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), having big surfaces and large pores, have recently been considered promising drug transporters. The zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8), a form of MOF consisting of 2-methylimidazole with zinc ions, is structurally stable under physiologically neutral conditions, while it can degrade at low pH values such as in tumor cells. Herein, a nanosized drug delivery system, Ori@ZIF-8, was successfully designed for encapsulating and transporting oridonin to the tumor site. The drug loading of the prepared Ori@ZIF-8 was 26.78%, and the particles’ mean size was 240.5 nm. In vitro, the release of Ori@ZIF-8 exhibited acid sensitivity, with a slow release under neutral conditions and rapid release of the drug under weakly acidic conditions. According to the in vitro anti-tumor experiments, Ori@ZIF-8 produced higher cytotoxicity than free Ori and induced apoptosis in A549 cancer cells. In conclusion, Ori@ZIF-8 could be a potential pH-responsive carrier to accurately release more oridonins at the tumor site.

PMID:38893518 | DOI:10.3390/molecules29112643