Biotin molecules could be used as suitable targeting moieties in targeted drug delivery systems against tumors. To develop a biotin targeted drug delivery system, we employed human serum albumin (HSA) as a carrier. Methotrexate (MTX) molecules were conjugated to HSA. MTX-HSA nanoparticles (MTX-HSA NPs) were prepared from these conjugates by cross-linking the HSA molecules. Biotin molecules were then conjugated on the surface of MTX-HSA NPs. The anticancer efficacy of biotin targeted MTX-HSA NPs was evaluated in mice bearing 4T1 breast carcinoma. A single dose of biotin targeted MTX-HSA NPs showed stronger in vivo antitumor activity than non-targeted MTX-HSA NPs and free MTX. By 7 days after treatment, average tumor volume in the biotin targeted MTX-HSA NPs-treated group decreased to 17.6% of the initial tumor volume when the number of attached biotin molecules on MTX-HSA-NPs was the highest. Average tumor volume in non-targeted MTX-HSA NPs-treated mice grew rapidly and reached 250.7% of the initial tumor volume. Biotin targeted MTX-HSA NPs increased the survival of tumor-bearing mice to 47.5 ± 0.71 days and increased their life span up to 216.7%. Mice treated with biotin targeted MTX-HSA NPs showed slight body weight loss (8%) 21 days after treatment, whereas non-targeted MTX-HSA NPs treatment at the same dose caused a body weight loss of 27.05% ± 3.1%.
Keywords: biotin; conjugates; human serum albumin; in vivo anticancer delivery; methotrexate; targeted drug delivery.