Characterisation and tumour targeting of PEGylated polylysine dendrimers bearing doxorubicin via a pH labile linker

Lisa Kaminskas, Brian Kelly, Victoria McLeod, Gian Sberna, D Owen, Benjamin Boyd, Christopher Porter

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107 Citations (Scopus)


Polylysine dendrimers have potential as biodegradable vectors for the delivery of cytotoxic drugs to solid tumours. Here, the cytotoxicity, drug release and tumour targeting properties of Generation 5 PEGylated polylysine dendrimers comprising an outer generation of l-lysine or succinimyldipropyldiamine (SPN) and containing doxorubicin (DOX) linked through an acid labile 4-(hydrazinosulfonyl) benzoic acid (HSBA) linker have been characterised. Less than 10 of the DOX load was released from LYS or SPN dendrimers in pH 7.4 buffer over 3 days. In contrast approximately 100 release was evident at pH 5. The DOX-conjugated dendrimers also retained similar cytotoxic properties to free DOX in in vitro cell culture studies (presumably as a result of in situ liberation of free DOX). The clearance patterns of the DOX conjugated SPN and all-lysine dendrimers were similar to the equivalent non-DOX conjugated systems, however the SPN dendrimers showed reduced metabolic lability and increased uptake into RES organs when compared to the equivalent all-lysine dendrimers. In vivo assessment of the DOX-conjugated, PEGylated polylysine dendrimers (both SPN and LYS constructs) in rats bearing Walker 256 tumours revealed higher uptake into tumour tissue when compared with control tissue such as muscle ( 8 fold) and heart ( 3 fold). The data suggest that polylysine dendrimers containing DOX conjugated via an acid labile HSBA linker may provide a mechanism to target the delivery of DOX to tumours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241 - 248
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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