SYNTHESIS OF FOLATE RECEPTOR-TARGETED AND DOXORUBICIN-COUPLED CHEMOTHERAPEUTIC NANOCONJUGATE AND RESEARCH INTO ITS MEDICAL APPLICATIONS
Folate-targeted drug delivery has become an alternative therapy for the treatment of various cancers. Folate receptors are known to be responsible for cellular accumulation of folate and folate analogs with high binding affinity. The anthracycline antibiotic doxorubicin has a broad spectrum of antineoplastic action and a correspondingly widespread degree of clinical use. In this work, we aimed to prepare a folate receptor-targeted doxorubicin delivery system to achieve minimal effect of doxorubicin on healthy cells and more cytotoxicity of it on tumor cells. Folate?poly(ethylene glycol)?doxorubicin (FOL-PEG-DOX) nanoconjugate was synthesized through this aim and characterized with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), zetasizer, and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Doxorubicin release studies were also performed in vitro. The size of FOL-PEG-DOX was 78.84 nm. The results indicated that doxorubicin release rate from the conjugate was faster at pH 5.0 than pH 7.4 and the amide bond between DOX and PEG was more stable at pH 7.4 than pH 5.0. As a consequence, FOL-PEG-DOX nanoconjugate could be a potentially useful delivery system for folate receptor-positive cancer cells.