Gemcitabine integrated nano-prodrug carrier system
Peptide nanomaterials have received a great deal of interest in drug-delivery applications due to their biodegradability, biocompatibility, suitability for large-scale synthesis, high drug-loading capacities, targeting ability, and ordered structural organization. The covalent conjugation of drugs to peptide backbones results in prolonged circulation time and improved stability of drugs. Therapeutic efficacy of gemcitabine, which is used for breast cancer treatment, is severely compromised due to its rapid plasma degradation. Its hydrophilic nature poses a challenge for both its efficient encapsulation into nanocarrier systems and its sustained release property. Here, we designed a new peptide prodrug molecule for the anticancer drug gemcitabine, which was covalently conjugated to the C-terminal of 9-fluorenylmethoxy carbonyl (Fmoc)-protected glycine. The prodrug was further integrated into peptide nanocarrier system through noncovalent interactions. A pair of oppositely charged amyloid-inspired peptides (Fmoc-AIPs) were exploited as components of the drug-carrier system and self-assembled into one-dimensional nanofibers at physiological conditions. The gemcitabine integrated nanoprodrug carrier system exhibited slow release and reduced the cellular viability of 4T1 breast cancer cell line in a time- and concentration-dependent manner.