Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.142, No.5, 2532-2540, 2020
Conjugating Aptamer and Mitomycin C with Reductant-Responsive Linker Leading to Synergistically Enhanced Anticancer Effect
Mitomycin C (MMC) has been using for the treatment of a variety of digestive tract cancers. However, its nonspecific DNA-alkylating ability usually causes severe side effects, thus largely limiting its clinical applications. The utilization of an efficient active targeted drug delivery technique would address this issue. Accordingly, we report the design and development of aptamer-mitomycin C conjugates that use different cross-linking chemistry. The targeted delivery ability and cytotoxicity of these conjugates were carefully studied. It is worth noting that a linker-dependent cytotoxicity effect was observed for these conjugates. The use of a reductant-sensitive disulfide bond cross-linking strategy resulted in significantly enhanced cytotoxicity of MMC against the target cancer cell lines. Importantly, this cytotoxicity enhancement was suited to different types of aptamers, demonstrating the success of our design. Mechanistic studies of the enhanced cytotoxicity effect indicated that the target recognition, specific binding, and receptor-mediated internalization of aptamer were also critical for the observed effect.