A metal-free nanozyme-activated prodrug strategy for targeted tumor catalytic therapy, Nano Today, 12 Aug 2020
Nano Today, 12 August, 2020, DOI：https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nantod.2020.100935
A metal-free nanozyme-activated prodrug strategy for targeted tumor catalytic therapy
Qian Liang, Juqun Xi, Xuejiao J.Gao, Ruofei Zhang, Yili Yang, Xingfa Gao, Xiyun Yan, Lizeng Gao and Kelong Fan
Enzyme-mediated activation of prodrug in tumor cells is an attractive strategy for targeted cancer therapy. Of note, natural peroxidase and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) have been shown as a promising enzyme-prodrug combination. However, insufficient endogenous peroxidase activity and the difficulty in selectively expressing exogenous peroxidase in tumor cells have severely limited its antitumor efficiency. The discovery of nanomaterials with peroxidase-like activity (nanozyme), particularly the metal-free nanozymes that possesses high stability and good biocompatibility, bring a new opportunity to overcome these challenges. Here, under the guidance of theoretical calculations, we developed a metal-free phosphorous and nitrogen dual-doped porous hollow carbon sphere nanozyme (PNCNzyme) with robust peroxidase-like activity in acidic environment. Based on this metal-free nanozyme, we developed a nanozyme-IAA activation strategy that activated IAA to produce abundant ROS and trigger tumor cell apoptosis. We also introduced folate (FA) onto the nanozyme to enhance its tumor targeting and endocytosis efficacy by tumor cells. Upon administrated to mice, the FA-PNCNzymes@IAA effectively accumulated in the xenografts derived from cervical cancer cells, catalyzed the production of ROS, and induced apoptosis. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the nanozyme-IAA combination is an effective enzyme-prodrug activation strategy for tumor targeted catalytic therapy.