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Tumor-specific macrophage targeting through recognition of retinoid X receptor beta

Tang, Tang, Wei, Yushuang, Kang, Jinyoung, She, Zhi-Gang, Kim, Dokyoung, Sailor, Michael J., Ruoslahti, Erkki, Pang, Hong-Bo
Journal of controlled release 2019 v.301 pp. 42-53
antibodies, disease course, macrophages, mice, nanocarriers, neoplasms, peptides
Macrophages play important and diverse roles during cancer progression. However, cancer therapies based on macrophage modulation are lacking in tools that can recognize and deliver therapeutic payloads to macrophages in a tumor-specific manner. As a result, treatments tend to interfere with normal macrophage functions in healthy organs. We previously identified a macrophage-binding peptide, termed CRV. Here, we show that upon systemic administration into tumor-bearing mice, CRV selectively homes to tumors, extravasates, and preferentially binds to macrophages within. CRV exhibits a higher affinity for tumor macrophages than for other cells in tumors or for other macrophage types elsewhere in the body. We further identified and validated retinoid X receptor beta (RXRB) as the CRV receptor. Intriguingly, although it is known as a nuclear receptor, RXRB shows a prominent cell surface localization that is largely restricted to tumor macrophages. Systemic administration of anti-RXRB antibodies also results in tumor-selective binding to macrophages similar to CRV. Lastly, we demonstrate the ability of CRV to improve the delivery of nano-carriers into solid tumors and macrophages within. In summary, we describe here a novel cell surface marker and targeting tools for tumor macrophages that may aid in future development of macrophage-modulatory cancer therapies.