Publication Details

Belfiore, L., Saunders, D., Ranson, M. & Perrow, K. (2020). N-alkylisatin-loaded liposomes target the urokinase plasminogen activator system in breast cancer. Pharmaceutics, 12 (7), 1-16.


© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. The urokinase plasminogen activator and its receptor (uPA/uPAR) are biomarkers for metastasis, especially in triple-negative breast cancer. We prepared anti-mitotic N-alkylisatin (N-AI)-loaded liposomes functionalized with the uPA/uPAR targeting ligand, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 2 (PAI-2/SerpinB2), and assessed liposome uptake in vitro and in vivo. Receptor-dependent uptake of PAI-2-functionalized liposomes was significantly higher in the uPA/uPAR overexpressing MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line relative to the low uPAR/uPAR expressing MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. Furthermore, N-AI cytotoxicity was enhanced in a receptor-dependent manner. In vivo, PAI-2 N-AI liposomes had a plasma half-life of 5.82 h and showed an increased accumulation at the primary tumor site in an orthotopic MDA-MB-231 BALB/c-Fox1nu/Ausb xenograft mouse model, relative to the non-functionalized liposomes, up to 6 h post-injection. These findings support the further development of N-AI-loaded PAI-2-functionalized liposomes for uPA/uPAR-positive breast cancer, especially against triple-negative breast cancer, for which the prognosis is poor and treatment is limited.



Link to publisher version (DOI)