Research Papers:

A lupus anti-DNA autoantibody mediates autocatalytic, targeted delivery of nanoparticles to tumors

Zeming Chen, Jaymin M. Patel, Philip W. Noble, Cesar Garcia, Zhangyong Hong, James E. Hansen and Jiangbing Zhou _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:59965-59975. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11015

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Zeming Chen1,2, Jaymin M. Patel3, Philip W. Noble4, Cesar Garcia1, Zhangyong Hong2, James E. Hansen4,5, Jiangbing Zhou1,6

1Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06510, USA

2State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology, College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, P. R. China

3Department of Medical Oncology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06510, USA

4Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06510, USA

5Yale Cancer Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06510, USA

6Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA

Correspondence to:

Jiangbing Zhou, email: [email protected]

James E. Hansen, email: [email protected]

Keywords: nanoparticles, autocatalysis, targeted delivery, anti-DNA autoantibody, breast cancer

Received: May 06, 2016    Accepted: July 19, 2016    Published: August 2, 2016


Strategies to target nanoparticles to tumors that rely on surface modification with ligands that bind molecules overexpressed on cancer cells or the tumor neovasculature suffer from a major limitation: with delivery of toxic agents the amount of molecules available for targeting decreases with time; consequently, the efficiency of nanoparticle delivery is reduced. To overcome this limitation, here we propose an autocatalytic tumor-targeting mechanism based on targeting extracellular DNA (exDNA). exDNA is enriched in the tumor microenviroment and increases with treatment with cytotoxic agents, such as doxorubicin (DOX), due to release of DNA by dying tumor cells. We tested this approach using poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles surface-conjugated with fragments of 3E10 (3E10EN), a lupus anti-DNA autoantibody. We demonstrated that 3E10EN-conjugated nanoparticles bound to DNA and preferentially localized to tumors in vivo. The efficiency of tumor localization of 3E10EN-conjugated, DOX-loaded nanoparticles increased with time and subsequent treatments, demonstrating an autocatalytic effect. 3E10EN-conjugated DOX-loaded nanoparticles exhibited a significant anti-tumor effect that was superior to all controls. This work demonstrates the promise of autocatalytic drug delivery mechanisms and establishes proof of concept for a new anti-DNA autoantibody-based approach for enhancing delivery of nanoparticles to tumors.

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