Curcumin-human serum albumin nanoparticles decorated with PDL1 binding peptide for targeting PDL1-expressing breast cancer cells

Int J Biol Macromol. 2020 Sep 15:159:137-153. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.04.130. Epub 2020 Apr 23.


In this research, programmed death ligand 1 (PDL1) binding peptide was used for targeted delivery of curcumin to high PDL1-expressing breast cancer cells. Human serum albumin-curcumin nanoparticles (HSA/Cur NP) were first prepared by desolvation method and then functionalized with PDL1 binding peptide. Peptide conjugation to HSA/Cur NPs was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared and UV-visible spectroscopy. The formation of HSA/Cur NP was characterized by transmission electron microscope and scanning electron microscope. The size and zeta potential were determined by dynamic light scattering. The average particle size of the HSA/Cur NPs and peptide-HSA/Cur NPs were 197 and 246.5 nm, respectively. Evaluation of cellular uptake showed enhanced internalization of peptide-HSA/Cur NPs in high PDL1-expressing cancer cells compared to HSA/Cur NPs. The cell viability and apoptosis determination demonstrated higher cytotoxicity of HSA/Cur NPs relative to free curcumin in breast cancer cells. Peptide conjugation to HSA/Cur NPs increased cytotoxicity significantly concerning high PDL1-expressing breast cancer cells. In conclusion, peptide-HSA/Cur NPs improved cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of HSA/Cur NPs in high PDL1-expressing breast cancer cells. These results suggest that PDL1 has potential to be used as a target for selective drug delivery and promising candidate for the treatment of PDL1-expressing breast cancer cells.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Curcumin; Human serum albumin; Nanoparticle; PDL1.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • B7-H1 Antigen / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Curcumin / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / metabolism
  • Nanoparticles / toxicity
  • Oligopeptides / chemistry*
  • Oligopeptides / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Serum Albumin, Human / chemistry


  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • CD274 protein, human
  • Oligopeptides
  • Curcumin
  • Serum Albumin, Human