Immune/Hypoxic Tumor Microenvironment Regulation-Enhanced Photodynamic Treatment Realized by pH-Responsive Phase Transition-Targeting Nanobubbles

Meng Zhao, Xupeng Yang, Hao Fu, Chuanrong Chen, Yanhua Zhang, Zhihua Wu, Yourong Duan, Ying Sun
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces2021
Due to a special pathological type of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and the lack of expression of the estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her 2), targeted therapies are not effective. The lack of effective treatment drugs and insensitivity to the current single-treatment methods are the biggest problems that we face with the TNBC treatment. Therefore, new strategies to achieve selective treatment and further visual efficacy evaluation will be powerful tools against TNBC. Herein, a novel tumor-targeted nanosized ultrasound contrast nanobubble loaded with chlorin e6 (Ce6), metformin (MET), and perfluorohexane (PFH) and covalently connected to the anti-PD-L1 peptide (DPPA-1) in the outer shell was fabricated. When accumulated in acidic tumor tissues, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) ligands detach, and DPPA-1 is exposed for programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) targeting and blocking. The released metformin can relieve hypoxia by inhibiting mitochondrial complex I in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and enhance the therapeutic efficacy of Ce6 while synergizing with DPPA-1 by reducing PD-L1 expression. More significantly, photodynamic therapy (PDT) using multifunctional tumor-targeted nanosized ultrasound contrast agents (PD-L1-targeted pH-sensitive chlorin e6 (Ce6) and metformin (MET) drug-loaded phase transitional nanoparticles (Ce6/MET NPs-DPPA-1)) combined with PD-L1 checkpoint blocking can not only reduce tumor-mediated immunosuppression but also produce strong antitumor immunity. This finding provides a new idea for constructing multifunctional TNBC therapeutic nanoagents.
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