[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Telechelic water-soluble HPMA copolymers and HPMA copolymer-doxorubicin (DOX) conjugates have been synthesized by RAFT polymerization mediated by a new bifunctional chain transfer agent (CTA) that contains an enzymatically degradable oligopeptide sequence. Postpolymerization aminolysis followed by chain extension with a bis-maleimide resulted in linear high molecular weight multiblock HPMA copolymer conjugates. These polymers are enzymatically degradable; in addition to releasing the drug (DOX), the degradation of the polymer backbone resulted in products with molecular weights similar to the starting material and below the renal threshold. The new multiblock HPMA copolymers hold potential as new carriers of anticancer drugs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary edema and the associated increases in vascular permeability continue to represent a significant clinical problem in the intensive care setting, with no current treatment modality other than supportive care and mechanical ventilation. Therapeutic compound(s) capable of attenuating changes in vascular barrier function would represent a significant advance in critical care medicine. We have previously reported the development of HPMA-based copolymers, targeted to endothelial glycocalyx that are able to enhance barrier function. In this work, we report the refinement of copolymer design and extend our physiological studies to demonstrate that the polymers: 1) reduce both shear stress and pressure-mediated increase in hydraulic conductivity, 2) reduce nitric oxide production in response to elevated hydrostatic pressure and, 3) reduce the capillary filtration coefficient (K(fc)) in an isolated perfused mouse lung model. These copolymers represent an important tool for use in mechanotransduction research and a novel strategy for developing clinically useful copolymers for the treatment of vascular permeability.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endocytic uptake and subcellular trafficking of a large array of HPMA (N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide) based copolymers possessing positively or negatively charged residues, or hydrophobic groups were evaluated by flow cytometry and living cell confocal microscopy in cultured prostate cancer cells. The degrees of cellular uptake of various copolymer fractions with narrow polydispersities were quantified. The copolymer charge was the predominant physicochemical feature in terms of cellular uptake. Fast and efficient uptake occurred in positively charged copolymers due to non-specific adsorptive endocytosis, whereas slow uptake of negatively charged copolymers was observed. The uptake of copolymers was also molecular weight dependent. The copolymers were internalized into the cells through multiple endocytic pathways: positively charged copolymers robustly engaged clathrin-mediated endocytosis, macropinocytosis and dynamin-dependent endocytosis, while weakly negatively charged copolymers weakly employed these pathways; strongly negatively charged copolymers only mobilized macropinocytosis. HPMA copolymer possessing 4 mol% of moderately hydrophobic functional groups did not show preferential uptake. All copolymers ultimately localized in late endosomes/lysosomes via early endosomes; with varying kinetics among the copolymers. This study indicates that cell entry and subsequent intracellular trafficking of polymeric drug carriers are strongly dependent on the physicochemical characteristics of the nanocarrier, such as charge and molecular weight.
Journal of Controlled Release 04/2010; 143(1):71-9. · 7.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biodegradable hydrogels were synthesized by the click reaction of 4-arm azido-terminated PEG differing in molecular weight (2,100 and 8,800) and two alkyne-terminated peptides: [alkyne]-GFLGK-[alkyne] and ([alkyne]-GFLG)(2)K. The physical properties of in situ formed hydrogels were examined. The hydrogels were highly elastic as determined by rheological and microrheological studies. Swelling degree and enzymatic degradation by papain were dependent on the molecular weight of the PEG, but not the peptide. For PEG8800-based hydrogels, time-course analysis of degradation showed that the molecular weight of the soluble fraction quickly reached the PEG precursor value. These findings may guide future design of hydrogels with controllable mechanical properties and enzymatic degradability.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 17-methoxy group of geldanamycin was substituted with 1,3-diaminopropane and 1,3-diamino-2-hydroxypropane to introduce a primary amino group useful for conjugation with targeting moieties and drug carriers. We have developed a procedure that has provided improved yield and reproducibility of the syntheses. Both geldanamycin derivatives demonstrated antiproliferative activity towards the human ovarian carcinoma cell line, A2780.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The overview covers the discovery of N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymers, initial studies on their synthesis, evaluation of biological properties, and explorations of their potential as carriers of biologically active compounds in general and anticancer drugs in particular. The focus is on the research in the authors' laboratory - the development of macromolecular therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and musculoskeletal diseases. In addition, the evaluation of HPMA (co)polymers as building blocks of modified and new biomaterials is presented: the utilization of semitelechelic poly(HPMA) and HPMA copolymers for the modification of biomaterial and protein surfaces and the design of hybrid block and graft HPMA copolymers that self-assemble into smart hydrogels. Finally, suggestions for the design of second-generation macromolecular therapeutics are portrayed.
Advanced drug delivery reviews 11/2009; 62(2):122-49. · 11.96 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hydrogels were the first biomaterials designed for clinical use. Their discovery and applications as soft contact lenses and implants are presented. This early hydrogel research served as a foundation for the expansion of biomedical polymers research into new directions: design of stimuli sensitive hydrogels that abruptly change their properties upon application of an external stimulus (pH, temperature, solvent, electrical field, biorecognition) and hydrogels as carriers for the delivery of drugs, peptides, and proteins. Finally, pathways to self-assembly of block and graft copolymers into hydrogels of precise 3D structures are introduced.
Journal of Polymer Science Part A Polymer Chemistry 10/2009; 47(22):5929 - 5946. · 3.54 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The antitumor activity of a colon-specific N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer - 9-aminocamptothecin (9-AC) conjugate (P-9-AC) was assessed in orthotopic and subcutaneous animal (HT29 xenograft) tumor models. P-9-AC treatment of mice bearing orthotopic colon tumors, with a dose of 3 mg/kg of 9-AC equivalent every other day for 6 weeks, resulted in regression of tumors in 9 of 10 mice. A lower dose of P-9-AC (1.25 mg/kg of 9-AC equivalent) every other day for 8 weeks inhibited subcutaneous tumor growth in all mice. No liver metastases were observed. Colon-specific release of 9-AC from polymer conjugates enhanced antitumor activity and minimized the systemic toxicity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new hybrid hydrogel based on poly[N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide] grafted with a beta-sheet peptide, Beta11, was designed. Circular dichroism spectroscopy indicated that the folding ability of beta-sheet peptide was retained in the hybrid system, whereas the sensitivity of the peptide toward temperature and pH variations was hindered. The polymer backbone also prevented the twisting of the fibrils that resulted from the antiparallel arrangement of the beta-strands, as proved by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Thioflavin T binding experiments and transmission electron microscopy showed fibril formation with minimal lateral aggregation. As a consequence, the graft copolymer self-assembled into a hydrogel in aqueous environment. This process was mediated by association of beta-sheet domains. Scanning electron microscopy revealed a particular morphology of the network characterized by long-range order and uniformly aligned lamellae. Microrheology results confirmed that concentration-dependent gelation occurred.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new generation of antibodies against the prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) has been proven to bind specifically to PSMA molecules on the surface of living prostate cancer cells. To explore the potential of anti-PSMA antibodies as targeting moieties for macromolecular therapeutics for prostate cancer, fluorescently labeled HPMA (N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide) copolymer-anti-PSMA antibody conjugates (P-anti-PSMA) were synthesized and the mechanisms of their endocytosis and subcellular trafficking in C4-2 prostate cancer cells were studied. Radioimmunoassays showed the dissociation constants of P-anti-PSMA for C4-2 prostate cancer cells in the low nanomolar range, close to values for free anti-PSMA. It indicated that conjugation of anti-PSMA to HPMA copolymers did not compromise their binding affinity. The rate of endocytosis of P-anti-PSMA was much faster than that of control HPMA copolymer conjugates containing nonspecific IgG. Selective pathway inhibitors of clathrin-mediated endocytosis and of macropinocytosis inhibited the internalization of P-anti-PSMA. Inhibition of clathrin-mediated endocytosis was further evidenced by down-regulation of clathrin heavy chain expression by siRNA. Using a dominant-negative mutant of dynamin (Dyn K44A) to abolish the clathrin-, caveolae-independent endocytic pathway, we found that some of P-anti-PSMA adopted this pathway to be endocytosed into C4-2 cells. Thus multiple receptor-mediated endocytic pathways, including clathrin-mediated endocytosis, macropinocytosis, and clathrin-, caveolae-independent endocytosis, were involved in the internalization of P-anti-PSMA. The extent of the participation of each pathway in P-anti-PSMA endocytosis was estimated. Membrane vesicles containing P-anti-PSMA rapidly colocalized with membrane vesicles overexpressing Rab7, a late endosome localized protein, demonstrating that a part of P-anti-PSMA was transported to late endosomes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several drug delivery designs combine synthetic drug carriers with covalently conjugated targeting moieties. Such modifications of monoclonal antibodies (mAb), or their Fab' fragments, inevitably result in diminished affinity for their targeted tissue. In an attempt to overcome this limitation, high molecular weight, branched N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymers were synthesized and conjugated with Fab' fragments of the anti-CD20 antibody, 1F5. This produced multivalent conjugates with varying valency (amount of Fab' per macromolecule) targeted to the B-cell antigen CD20. Evaluation of a multivalent effect was done by determining the apparent K(D) at low concentrations of conjugates, the Sips heterogeneity factor, a, and the binding enhancement factors of each construct. The results clearly indicated that multivalency could improve the affinity of the HPMA copolymer-Fab' conjugates to that of unconjugated mAb.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: There is an immense clinical need for novel therapeutics for the treatment of angiogenesis-dependent calcified neoplasms such as osteosarcomas and bone metastases. We developed a new therapeutic strategy to target bone metastases and calcified neoplasms using combined polymer-bound angiogenesis inhibitors. Using an advanced "living polymerization" technique, the reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT), we conjugated the aminobisphosphonate alendronate (ALN), and the potent anti-angiogenic agent TNP-470 with N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer through a Glycine-Glycine-Proline-Norleucine linker, cleaved by cathepsin K, a cysteine protease overexpressed at resorption sites in bone tissues. In this approach, dual targeting is achieved. Passive accumulation is possible due to the increase in molecular weight following polymer conjugation of the drugs, thus extravasating from the tumor leaky vessels and not from normal healthy vessels. Active targeting to the calcified tissues is achieved by ALN's affinity to bone mineral. METHODS AND FINDING: The anti-angiogenic and antitumor potency of HPMA copolymer-ALN-TNP-470 conjugate was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. We show that free and conjugated ALN-TNP-470 have synergistic anti-angiogenic and antitumor activity by inhibiting proliferation, migration and capillary-like tube formation of endothelial and human osteosarcoma cells in vitro. Evaluation of anti-angiogenic, antitumor activity and body distribution of HPMA copolymer-ALN-TNP-470 conjugate was performed on severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) male mice inoculated with mCherry-labeled MG-63-Ras human osteosarcoma and by modified Miles permeability assay. Our targeted bi-specific conjugate reduced VEGF-induced vascular hyperpermeability by 92% and remarkably inhibited osteosarcoma growth in mice by 96%. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report to describe a new concept of a narrowly-dispersed combined polymer therapeutic designed to target both tumor and endothelial compartments of bone metastases and calcified neoplasms at a single administration. This new approach of co-delivery of two synergistic drugs may have clinical utility as a potential therapy for angiogenesis-dependent cancers such as osteosarcoma and bone metastases.
PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(4):e5233. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enzyme-based hybrid hydrogels were prepared by covalently incorporating an adenylate kinase mutant, possessing two thiol groups, into HPMA copolymer- or PEG-based hydrogel structures. The nanoscale conformational change of enzyme, triggered by substrate recognition, translated into macroscopic motion of hydrogels.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 12/2008; 130(47):15760-1. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This review focuses on the self-assembly of macromolecules mediated by the biorecognition of peptide/protein domains. Structures forming alpha-helices and beta-sheets have been used to mediate self-assembly into hydrogels of peptides, reactive copolymers and peptide motifs, block copolymers, and graft copolymers. Structural factors governing the self-assembly of these molecules into precisely defined three-dimensional structures (hydrogels) are reviewed. The incorporation of peptide motifs into hybrid systems, composed of synthetic and natural macromolecules, enhances design opportunities for new biomaterials when compared to individual components.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The self-assembly of hybrid diblock copolymers composed of poly(HPMA) and beta-sheet peptide P11 (CH(3)CO-QQRFQWQFEQQ-NH(2)) blocks was investigated. Copolymers were synthesized via thiol-maleimide coupling reaction, by conjugation of semitelechelic poly(HPMA)-SH with maleimide-modified beta-sheet peptide. As expected, CD and CR binding studies showed that the peptide block imposed its beta-sheet structural arrangement on the structure of diblock copolymers. TEM and AFM proved that peptide and these copolymers had the ability to self-assemble into fibrils.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A wide variety of therapeutic agents may benefit by specifically directing them to the mitochondria in tumor cells. The current work aimed to design delivery systems that would enable a combination of tumor and mitochondrial targeting for such therapeutic entities. To this end, novel HPMA copolymer-based delivery systems that employ triphenylphosphonium (TPP) ions as mitochondriotropic agents were developed. Constructs were initially synthesized with fluorescent labels substituting for drug and were used for validation experiments. Microinjection and incubation experiments performed using these fluorescently labeled constructs confirmed the mitochondrial targeting ability. Subsequently, HPMA copolymer-drug conjugates were synthesized using a photosensitizer mesochlorin e 6 (Mce 6). Mitochondrial targeting of HPMA copolymer-bound Mce 6 enhanced cytotoxicity as compared to nontargeted HPMA copolymer-Mce 6 conjugates. Minor modifications may be required to adapt the current design and allow for tumor site-specific mitochondrial targeting of other therapeutic agents.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macromolecular delivery systems have therapeutic uses because of their ability to deliver and release drugs to specific tissues. The uptake and localization of HPMA copolymers using Asp(8) as the bone-targeting moiety was determined in aged, ovariectomized (ovx) rats. PGE(1) was attached via a cathepsin K-sensitive linkage to HPMA copolymer-Asp(8) conjugate and was tested to determine if it could promote bone formation.
The uptake of FITC-labeled HPMA copolymer-Asp(8) conjugate (P-Asp(8)-FITC) on bone surfaces was compared with the mineralization marker, tetracycline. Then a targeted PGE(1)-HPMA copolymer conjugate (P-Asp(8)-FITC-PGE(1)) was given as a single injection and its effects on bone formation were measured 4 weeks later.
P-Asp(8)-FITC preferentially deposited on resorption surfaces, unlike tetracycline. A single injection of P-Asp(8)-FITC-PGE(1) resulted in greater indices of bone formation in aged, ovx rats.
HPMA copolymers can be targeted to bone surfaces using Asp(8), with preferential uptake on resorption surfaces. Additionally, PGE(1) attached to the Asp(8)-targeted HPMA copolymers and given by a single injection resulted in greater bone formation measured 4 weeks later. This initial in vivo study suggests that macromolecular delivery systems targeted to bone may offer some therapeutic opportunities and advantages for the treatment of skeletal diseases.
Pharmaceutical Research 09/2008; 25(12):2889-95. · 4.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The biological activities of sequential combinations of anticancer drugs, SOS thiophene (SOS) and mesochlorin e 6 monoethylenediamine (Mce 6), in the form of free drugs, nontargeted N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer-drug conjugates, P-GFLG-Mce 6 and P-GFLG-SOS (P is the HPMA copolymer backbone and GFLG is the glycylphenylalanylleucylglycine spacer), and Fab'-targeted HPMA copolymer-drug conjugates, P-(GFLG-Mce 6)-Fab' and P-(GFLG-SOS)-Fab' (Fab' from OV-TL16 antibodies complementary to CD47), were evaluated against human ovarian carcinoma OVCAR-3 cells. Mce 6, SOS, P-GFLG-Mce 6, P-GFLG-SOS, P-(GFLG-Mce 6)-Fab', and P-(GFLG-SOS)-Fab', when used as single agents or in binary combination, exhibited cytotoxic activities against OVCAR-3 cells, as determined using a modified MTT assay. The binding and internalization of P-(GFLG-Mce 6)-Fab' and P-(GFLG-SOS)-Fab' by OVCAR-3 cells were visualized by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. The results confirmed an enhanced biorecognition by OVCAR-3 cells of Fab'-targeted HPMA copolymer conjugates over nontargeted conjugates. The median-effect analysis and the determination of the combination index (CI) were used to describe the drug interaction and quantify the synergism, antagonism, or additivity in anticancer effects. The sequential combinations of SOS+Mce 6 and P-GFLG-SOS+P-GFLG-Mce 6 displayed very strong synergism to synergism in the entire range of cell inhibition levels ( f a = 0.5 - 0.95). The P-(GFLG-SOS)-Fab'+P-(GFLG-Mce 6)-Fab' exhibited a strong synergism for f a values up to about 0.85, but showed synergistic effect and nearly additive effect at f a = 0.9 and 0.95, respectively. These observations support the continuation of in vivo investigations of these conjugates for the treatment of ovarian cancer.