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Bioinert Anodic Alumina Nanotubes for Targeting of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Autophagic Signaling: A Combinatorial Nanotube-Based Drug Delivery System for Enhancing Cancer Therapy

Wang, Ye, Kaur, Gagandeep, Chen, Yuting, Santos, Abel, Losic, Dusan, Evdokiou, Andreas
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 v.7 no.49 pp. 27140-27151
aluminum oxide, autophagy, biocompatibility, biocompatible materials, breast neoplasms, drug delivery systems, endoplasmic reticulum, fibroblasts, humans, monocytes, nanotubes, neoplasm cells
Although nanoparticle-based targeted delivery systems have gained promising achievements for cancer therapy, the development of sophisticated strategies with effective combinatorial therapies remains an enduring challenge. Herein, we report the fabrication of a novel nanomaterial, so-called anodic alumina nanotubes (AANTs) for proof-of-concept cancer therapy by targeting cell signaling networks. This strategy is to target autophagic and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress signaling by using thapsigargin (TG)-loaded AANTs cotreated with an autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA). We first show that AANTs are nontoxic and can activate autophagy in different cell types including human fibroblast cells (HFF), human monocyte cells (THP-1), and human breast cancer cells (MDA-MB 231-TXSA). Treatment with 3-MA at a nontoxic dose reduced the level of autophagy induced by AANTs, and consequently sensitized breast cancer cells to AANTs-induced cellular stresses. To target autophagic and ER stress signaling networking, breast cancer cells were treated with 3-MA together with AANTs loaded with the prototype ER stress inducer TG. We demonstrated that 3-MA enhanced the cancer cell killing effect of AANTs loaded with TG. This effect was associated with enhanced ER stress signaling due to the combination effect of TG and 3-MA. These findings not only demonstrate the excellent biocompatibility of AANTs as novel biomaterials but also provide new opportunities for developing ER- and autophagy-targeted delivery systems for future clinical cancer therapy.