Facile preparation of pH-responsive PEGylated prodrugs for activated intracellular drug delivery

In this study, three PEGylated acid-sensitive prodrugs DOX-PEG-DOX with different molecular weights, were prepared via Schiff-base reaction between aldehyde-modified PEG and the amino groups of doxorubicin (DOX). This kind of amphiphilic polymeric prodrug could be self-assemble into nanoparticles in aqueous solution. The average particle size and morphologies of the prodrug nanoparticles under different pH conditions were observed by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), respectively. It turned out that the nanoparticles could be kept stable in the physiological environment, but degraded in acidic medium. Subsequently, we also investigated in vitro drug release behavior and found that the prodrug had acid-sensitive property. The cytotoxicity and intracellular uptake assays revealed that the prodrugs could rapidly internalized by HeLa or HepG2 cells to release DOX and effectively inhibited the proliferation of the tumor cells, which have the potential for use in cancer therapy.Graphical AbstractThe acid-cleavable amphiphilic prodrug DOX-PEG-DOX self-assemble to form nanoparticles and enter the cell by endocytosis for the pH-triggered intracellular delivery of DOX.
Source: Chinese Chemical Letters - Category: Chemistry Source Type: research

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