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Nano Research

Article Title

Zinc-substituted hemoglobin with specific drug binding sites and fatty acid resistance ability for enhanced photodynamic therapy

Authors

Yiting Xu, Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Aptamer Engineering Center of Hunan Province, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Biomacromolecular Chemical Biology, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
Jiamei Xu, Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Aptamer Engineering Center of Hunan Province, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Biomacromolecular Chemical Biology, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
Xiaoxiao Hu, Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Aptamer Engineering Center of Hunan Province, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Biomacromolecular Chemical Biology, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
Xin Xia, Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Aptamer Engineering Center of Hunan Province, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Biomacromolecular Chemical Biology, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
Qian Dong, Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Aptamer Engineering Center of Hunan Province, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Biomacromolecular Chemical Biology, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
Zhangkun Liu, Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Aptamer Engineering Center of Hunan Province, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Biomacromolecular Chemical Biology, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
Zhuo Chen, Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Aptamer Engineering Center of Hunan Province, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Biomacromolecular Chemical Biology, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
Weihong Tan, Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Aptamer Engineering Center of Hunan Province, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Biomacromolecular Chemical Biology, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China Department of Chemistry, Departments of Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, UF Health Cancer Center, UF Genetics Institute and McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA

Keywords

natural metalloporphyrin protein carrier, specific drug binding sites, fatty acid resistance ability, photodynamic therapy, hemin oxygenase-1 (HO-1)

Abstract

Precisely designed protein-based nanodrugs, as a kind of colloidal drug system, have attracted significant attention in tumor therapy because of their refined drug loading ratio, controlled delivery efficacy and natural biocompatibility. However, most drugs are conjugated to the protein carriers randomly without specific binding sites. Moreover, such sites could easily be replaced by lipophilic molecules in the physiological environment and result in low delivery efficiency. With strong and specific binding locations especially comparatively narrow spatial binding sites and nonflexible structure, hemin (FePPIX)-free hemoglobin or apohemoglobin (apoHb), as a natural metalloporphyrin protein carrier, represents great potential in bioapplication. Therefore, we herein introduce a folate acid (FA) modified, zinc-substituted hemoglobin (ZnPHb-FA) as a naturally occurring protein matrix-based photosensitizer for cancer photodynamic therapy (PDT). Noncovalent inserted ZnPPIX molecules in apoHb possess an extremely stable property and significant recovered photoproperties with superior biocompatibility and phototoxicity, both in vitro and in vivo. This stability was verified by molecular docking analysis and calculation of binding constant, representing a total of five drug binding sites of apoHb for ZnPPIX molecules, four of which are energetically favorable (∆G value of −11.9 kcal/mol), and one which is energetically acceptable (∆G value of −9 kcal/mol). Folate acid modification has been shown to efficiently enhance the internalization and retention time of ZnPHb nanodrug. ZnPHb-FA is also an efficient depressor of hemin oxygenase-1 (HO-1), which could, in turn, lower the antioxidant ability of cancer cells by decreasing the production of bilirublin. Results in vitro and in vivo both indicated that the firmly combination of apoHb and ZnPPIX described here represents a novel and efficient protein nanodrug systems for cancer therapy.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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