Liposomes containing alkylated methotrexate analogues for phospholipase A(2) mediated tumor targeted drug delivery

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2009

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Two lipophilic methotrexate analogues have been synthesized and evaluated for cytotoxicity against KATO III and HT-29 human colon cancer cells. Both analogues contained a C-16-alkyl chain attached to the gamma-carboxylic acid and one of the analogues had an additional benzyl group attached to the alpha-carboxylic acid. The cytotoxicity of the gamma-alkylated compound towards KATO III (IC50 = 55 nM) and HT-29 (IC50 = 400 nM) cell lines, Was unaffected by the alkylation, whereas the additional benzyl group on the alpha-carboxyl group made the Compound nontoxic. The gamma-derivative with promising cytotoxicity was incorporated into liposomes that were designed to be particularly Susceptible to a liposome degrading enzyme, secretory phospholipase A(2) (sPLA(2)), which is found in high concentrations in tumors of several different cancer types. Liposome incorporation was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and sPLA(2) hydrolysis was examined by fluorescence spectroscopy and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results showed that the methotrexate (MTX)-analogue could be incorporated into liposomes that were degradable by sPLA(2). However, the in vitro cytotoxicity of the MTX-liposomes against KATO III and HT-29 cancer cells was found to be independent of sPLA(2) hydrolysis, indicating that the alkylated MTX-analogue was available for cancer cell uptake even in the absence of liposome hydrolysis. Using a DSC based method for assessing the anchoring stability of alkylated compounds in liposomes, it was demonstrated that the MTX-analogue partitioned into the water phase and thereby became available for cell uptake. It was concluded that liposomes containing alkylated MTX-analogues show promise as a drug delivery system, although the MTX-analogue needs to be more tightly anchored to the liposomal carrier. Also, the developed DSC-assay for Studying the anchoring stability of alkylated drugs will be a useful tool in the development of liposomal drug delivery Systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChemistry and Physics of Lipids
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)94-103
StatePublished - 2009
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 29


  • Drug delivery, Phospholipase A(2), Tumor targeting, Liposome, Synthesis, Methotrexate analogue
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ID: 6399342