Folate-targeted liposomes (FTL) were tested as drug delivery vehicles to PSMA-positive cancer cells. We used FL with co-entrapped mitomycin C lipophilic prodrug (MLP) and doxorubicin (DOX), and the LNCaP prostate cancer cell line which expresses PSMA but is negative for folate receptor. A major increase in cell drug levels was observed when LNCaP cells were incubated with FTL as compared to non-targeted liposomes (NTL). MLP was activated to mitomycin C, and intracellular and nuclear fluorescence of DOX was detected, indicating FTL processing and drug bioavailability. PMPA (2-(phosphonomethyl)-pentanedioic acid), a specific inhibitor of PSMA, blocked the uptake of FTL into LNCaP cells, but did not affect the uptake of FTL into PSMA-deficient and folate receptor-positive KB cells. The cytotoxic activity of drug-loaded FTL was found significantly enhanced when compared to NTL in LNCaP cells. FTL may provide a new tool for targeted therapy of cancers that over-express the PSMA receptor.
Keywords: Doxorubicin; Folate receptor; Liposomes; Mitomycin-C; PSMA; Prodrug; Prostate cancer; Targeting.
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