Targeted doxorubicin-loaded mesenchymal stem cells-derived exosomes as a versatile platform for fighting against colorectal cancer

Colorectal Cancer

Life Sci. 2020 Aug 31:118369. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2020.118369. Online ahead of print.


Exosomes hold great potential for cancer treatment to deliver therapeutics due to its inherent low immunogenicity. Exosomes are biocompatible cell-exocytosed secreted vesicles by most cell types, which can be used to construct novel biomanufacturing platform for drug delivery and cancer therapy. In this study, we implemented nano-sized vesicles which were secreted by mesenchymal stem cell (MSC), to encapsulate doxorubicin (DOX) through electroporation method (DOX@exosome). DOX was loaded into

exosomes, with an encapsulation efficiency of up to 35% and separated by ultracentrifugation. Subsequently, carboxylic acid-end MUC1 aptamer was used to covalently decorate the surface amine groups of the exosomes via amide bond formation to provide selective guided drug delivery (DOX@exosome-apt). The data showed that the DOX@exosome-apt provided highly efficient DOX transportation to MUC1-positive cancer cells in vitro as confirmed by MTT and flow cytometry experiments. Moreover, in vivo study on ectopic model of C26 (mouse colon adenocarcinoma) in BALB/c mice indicated that the single dose intravenous injection of DOX@exosome-apt significantly suppress tumor growth in comparison with free DOX. Ex vivo fluorescent imaging also verified the desirable biodistribution of DOX@exosome-apt by exhibiting higher tumor accumulation and faster liver clearance in comparison with DOX@exosome and free DOX. It could be concluded that MUC1 aptamer-decorated exosomes can be implemented therapeutically for the safe and versatile delivery of DOX to colon adenocarcinoma, thus offering valuable platform for clinical applications.