Direct delivery of cytokines using nanocarriers holds great promise for cancer therapy. However, the nanometric scale of the vehicles made them susceptible to size-dependent endocytosis, reducing the plasma membrane-associated apoptosis signaling. Herein, we report a tumor microenvironment-responsive and transformable nanocarrier for cell membrane targeted delivery of cytokine. This formulation is comprised of a phospholipase A2 (PLA2) degradable liposome as a shell, and complementary DNA nanostructures (designated as nanoclews) decorated with cytokines as the cores. Utilizing the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) as a model cytokine, we demonstrate that the TRAIL loaded DNA nanoclews are capable of transforming into nanofibers after PLA2 activation. The nanofibers with micro-scaled lengths efficiently present the loaded TRAIL to death receptors on the cancer cell membrane and amplified the apoptotic signaling with reduced TRAIL internalization.
Sun, W., Ji, W., Hu, Q., Yu, J., Wang, C., Qian, C., … Gu, Z. (2016). Transformable DNA nanocarriers for plasma membrane targeted delivery of cytokine. Biomaterials, 96, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2016.04.011