Tumor-targeted drug delivery and sensitization by MMP2-responsive polymeric micelles Academic Article uri icon


  • Low tumor specificity and multidrug resistance (MDR) remain challenging for many anticancer drugs. In this study, the micelles assembled by a matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2)-sensitive self-assembling efflux inhibitor (PEG2k-pp-PE) were developed and evaluated in various cancer models. In vitro, the PEG2k-pp-PE micelles enhanced the cellular uptake and tissue penetration and sensitized the cancers to drug treatments in MDR cancer cells and their three-dimensional multicellular spheroids. Their efflux inhibitory capability was comparable to those of the well-known small-molecule P-glycoprotein (P-gp) inhibitor and polymeric P-gp inhibitor. In vivo, the PEG2k-pp-PE micelles could specifically and effectively deliver the loaded cargoes to the tumor, as evidenced by the enhanced drug accumulation and prolonged drug retention in the tumor tissue, resulting in the improved anticancer activity. Our results suggest that the PEG2k-pp-PE micelles may have great potential to be a simple but multifunctional nanocarrier for concurrent tumor-targeted drug delivery and sensitization of resistant cancers.

author list (cited authors)

  • Yao, Q., Liu, Y., Kou, L., Tu, Y., Tang, X., & Zhu, L.

citation count

  • 20

publication date

  • April 2019