Nano Research

Article Title

Chemokine-mimetic plerixafor derivative for tumor-specific delivery of nanomaterials


chemokine-mimetic, plerixafor derivatives, chemokine receptor, nanomaterial, photothermal therapy


ABSTRACT Here, we report that chemokine-mimetic plerixafor derivatives could govern tumor-specific delivery and functional effects of nanomaterials. Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanosheets were used as a model functional nanomaterial, and plerixafor-conjugated lipid (PL/rGO) or a benzylcyclam derivative of plerixaforconjugated lipid (BPL/rGO) was physically adsorbed onto the surface of rGO. The cellular uptake of surface-modified rGO was dependent on overexpression of the CXCR4 chemokine receptor on cancer cells. In KB cells, the binding affinity of BPL/rGO for CXCR4 was 6.8-fold greater than that of PL/rGO. Notably, cellular uptake patterns correlated with in vitro photothermal anticancer efficacy. The tumor distribution of BPL/rGO was higher than that of PL/rGO and plain rGO in mice bearing CXCR4-overexpressing tumors, whereas the distribution of the various rGO forms was similar in mice harboring CXCR4-negative tumors. Moreover, complete photothermal tumor ablation was observed in BPL/rGOtreated mice bearing CXCR4-positive KB cell tumors, but not in CXCR4-negative MCF-7 cell tumors. These results provide evidence that BPL can be used to enhance the delivery of nanomaterials to CXCR4-overexpressing tumors. Chemokine-mimetic BPL can be further applied for nanomaterial-based delivery of photosensitizers, anticancer drugs, or diagnostic tumor imaging agents in CXCR4-overexpressing cancer patients.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press