Background/aim: Extracellular vesicles (exosomes, EVs) (30-200 nm in diameter) are secreted by various cells in the body. Owing to the pharmaceutical advantages of EVs, an EV-based drug delivery system (DDS) for cancer therapy is expected to be the next-generation therapeutic system. However, preservation methods for functional and therapeutic EVs should be developed. Here, we developed the method of lyophilization of arginine-rich cell penetrating peptide (CPP)-modified EVs and investigated the effects of lyophilization on the characteristics of EVs.
Materials and methods: Particle size, structure, zeta-potential, and cellular uptake efficacy of the arginine-rich CPP-modified EVs were analyzed. The model protein saporin (SAP), having anti-cancer effects, was encapsulated inside the EVs to assess the cytosolic release of EV content after cellular uptake.
Results: Lyophilization of the EVs did not affect their particle size, structure, zeta-potential, and cellular uptake efficacy; however, the biological activity of the encapsulated SAP was inhibited by lyophilization.
Conclusion: Lyophilization of EVs may affect SAP structures and/or reduce the cytosolic release efficacy of EV's content after cellular uptake and needs attention in EV-based DDSs.
Keywords: Extracellular vesicles; cell-penetrating peptides; exosomes; lyophilization; saporin.
Copyright© 2019, International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. George J. Delinasios), All rights reserved.