Chemically modified steroids have a long history as anti-neoplastic drugs. Incorporation of a lactone moiety in the steroid nucleus, as in previously obtained 3β-acetoxy-17-oxa-17a-homoandrost-5-en-16-one (A) and 3β-hidroxy-17-oxa-17a-homoandrost-5-en-16-one (B), often results in enhanced anticancer properties. In this work, chitosan-based (Ch) nanoparticles were created and loaded with potent anticancer steroidal compounds, A and B. Changes to hormone receptor binding and cytotoxicity were then measured. In agreement with our previous results for A and B, A- and B-loaded Ch displayed cytotoxic properties against cancer cell lines. Both A-Ch and B-Ch showed activity toward estrogen negative breast cancer (MDA-MB-231) and androgen negative prostate cancer cell lines (PC-3). Greater selectivity toward cancer cells versus healthy lung fibroblast (MRC-5) was observed for B-Ch particles. Cell viability and cytotoxicity measurements after a recovery period indicate more robust recovery of healthy cells versus malignant cells. Compounds A and B or their Ch-encapsulated forms were shown to have negligible affinity for the ligand binding domain of estrogen receptor β or the androgen receptor in a fluorescent yeast screen, suggesting a lack of estrogenicity and androgenicity. Steroid-loaded chitosan nanoparticles display strong cytotoxicity towards MDA-MB-231 and PC-3 with a lack of hormone activity, indicating their safety and efficacy.
Kuzminac, I. Z., Ćelić, A. S., Bekić, S. S., Kojić, V., Savić, M. P., & Ignjatović, N. L. (2022). Hormone receptor binding, selectivity and cytotoxicity of steroid D-homo lactone loaded chitosan nanoparticles for the treatment of breast and prostate cancer cells. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2022.112597