Avidity modulation of folate-targeted multivalent dendrimers for evaluating biophysical models of cancer targeting nanoparticles

Justin E. Silpe, Madhuresh Sumit, Thommey P. Thomas, Baohua Huang, Alina Kotlyar, Mallory A. Van Dongen, Mark M. Banaszak Holl, Bradford G. Orr, Seok Ki Choi

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We investigated two types of generation 5 polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers, each conjugated stochastically with a mean number of 5 or 10 methotrexate (MTX) ligands per dendrimer (G5-MTX5, G5-MTX 10), for their binding to surface-immobilized folate binding protein (FBP) as a function of receptor density. The binding study was performed under flow by surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Two multivalent models were examined to simulate binding of the dendrimer to the receptor surface, showing that at relatively high receptor density, both dendrimer conjugates exhibit high avidity. However, upon reducing the receptor density by a factor of 3 and 13 relative to the high density level, the avidity of the lower-valent G5-MTX 5 decreases by up to several orders of magnitude (KD = nM to μM), whereas the avidity of G5-MTX10 remains largely unaffected regardless of the density variation. Notably, on the 13-fold reduced FBP surface, G5-MTX5 displays binding kinetics similar to that of monovalent methotrexate, which is patently different from the still tight binding of the higher-valent G5-MTX10. Thus, the binding analysis demonstrates that avidity displayed by multivalent MTX conjugates varies in response to the receptor density and can be modulated for achieving tighter, more specific binding to the higher receptor density by modulation of ligand valency. We believe this study provides experimental evidence supportive of the mechanistic hypothesis of multivalent NP uptake to a cancer cell over a healthy cell where the diseased cell expresses the folate receptor at higher density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2063-2071
Number of pages9
JournalACS Chemical Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

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