Cell penetrating peptide amphiphile integrated liposomal systems for enhanced delivery of cargo to tumor cells
Tekinay, Ayşe Begüm
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Liposomes have been extensively utilized as effective nanocarriers due to their enhanced solubility, higher stability and greater ability to facilitate the slow release of encapsulated drugs compared to free drug administrations. Liposomes are also preferred as drug vectors due to their non-toxic nature, biodegradability and structural resemblance to the cell membrane. However, their low internalization efficiencies pose an important challenge for their use in drug delivery applications. Internalization issues inherent in many liposomal systems can be circumvented by the use of cell penetrating peptides, which non-covalently attach on the liposome surface and greatly enhance liposomal uptake in a receptor- and charge-dependent manner. In this study, we examined the liposomal dynamics effected through the integration of an amphiphilic cell penetrating peptide into a simple liposome system. Peptide amphiphiles with a cell penetrating arginine-rich domain were incorporated into liposomal membranes formed by negatively charged dioleoylphosphoglycerol (DOPG) phospholipids in the presence of cholesterol. Throughout the present study, we sought to analyze the effect of peptide incorporation on (a) the physical characteristics, such as size, surface potential and membrane polarity, of the liposomal membrane, (b) the alterations in the encapsulation and delivery mechanisms of hydrophilic (Rhodamine B) and hydrophobic (Nile Red) drug models and (c) the enhancement of therapeutic capability in liposomes loaded with the drugs Doxorubicin-HCl and Paclitaxel. Our results revealed that the modification of liposomes by cell penetrating peptide amphiphiles results in the improvement of cargo delivery and the enhancement of the therapeutic effects of the anticancer drugs Doxurubicin and Paclitaxel.