Unveiling the potential of ursolic acid modified hyaluronate nanoparticles for combination drug therapy in triple negative breast cancer


Carbohydr Polym. 2024 Aug 15;338:122196. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2024.122196. Epub 2024 Apr 24.


Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents the most aggressive and heterogenous disease, and combination therapy holds promising potential. Here, an enzyme-responsive polymeric prodrug with self-assembly properties was synthesized for targeted co-delivery of paclitaxel (PTX) and ursolic acid (UA). Hyaluronic acid (HA) was conjugated with UA, yielding an amphiphilic prodrug with 13.85 mol% UA and a CMC of 32.3 μg/mL. The HA-UA conjugate exhibited ∼14 % and 47 % hydrolysis at pH 7.4 and in tumor cell lysate. HA-UA/PTX NPs exhibited a spherical structure with 173 nm particle size, and 0.15 PDI. The nanoparticles showed high drug loading (11.58 %) and entrapment efficiency (76.87 %) of PTX. Release experiments revealed accelerated drug release (∼78 %) in the presence of hyaluronidase enzyme. Cellular uptake in MDA-MB-231 cells showed enhanced uptake of HA-UA/PTX NPs through CD44 receptor-mediated endocytosis. In vitro, HA-UA/PTX NPs exhibited higher cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and mitochondrial depolarization compared to PTX alone. In vivo, HA-UA/PTX NPs demonstrated improved pharmacokinetic properties, with 2.18, 2.40, and 2.35-fold higher AUC, t1/2, and MRT compared to free PTX. Notably, HA-UA/PTX NPs exhibited superior antitumor efficacy with a 90 % tumor inhibition rate in 4T1 tumor model and low systemic toxicity, showcasing their significant potential as carriers for TNBC combination therapy.

PMID:38763723 | DOI:10.1016/j.carbpol.2024.122196