LinTT1 peptide-functionalized liposomes for targeted breast cancer therapy

Int J Pharm. 2021 Mar 15:597:120346. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2021.120346. Epub 2021 Feb 2.


Breast cancer, with around 2 million new cases in 2019, is the second most common cancer worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer death among females. The aim of this work is to prepare a targeting nanoparticle through the conjugation of LinTT1 peptide, a specific molecule targeting p32 protein overexpressed by breast cancer and cancer associated cells, on liposomes' surface. This approach increases the cytotoxic effects of doxorubicin (DOX) and sorafenib (SRF) co-loaded in therapeutic liposomes on both 2D and 3D breast cancer cellular models. The liposome functionalization leads to a higher interaction with 3D breast cancer spheroids than bare ones. Moreover, interaction studies between LinTT1-functionalized liposomes and M2 primary human macrophages show an internalization of 50% of the total nanovesicles that interact with these cells, while the other 50% results only associated to cell surface. This finding suggests the possibility to use the amount of associated liposomes to enrich the hypoxic tumor area, exploiting the ability of M2 macrophages to accumulate in the central core of tumor mass. These promising results highlight the potential use of DOX and SRF co-loaded LinTT1-functionalized liposomes as nanomedicines for the treatment of breast cancer, especially in triple negative cancer cells.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Functionalized-liposomes; Nanomedicines; Targeted therapy: multidrug approach.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liposomes*
  • Peptides / therapeutic use


  • Liposomes
  • Peptides
  • Doxorubicin