Author(s): Beretta GL, Folini M, Cavalieri F, Yan Y, Fresch E,
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Abstract Redox-active polymers and carriers are oxidizing nanoagents that can potentially trigger intracellular off-target effects. In the present study, we investigated the occurrence of off-target effects in prostate cancer cells following exposure to redox-active polymer and thin multilayer capsules with different chemical properties. We show that, depending on the intracellular antioxidant capacity, thiol-functionalized poly(methacrylic acid), PMA(SH) triggers cell defense responses/perturbations that result in off-target effects (i.e., induction of autophagy and down-regulation of survivin). Importantly, the conversion of the carboxyl groups of PMA(SH) into the neutral amides of poly(hydroxypropylmetacrylamide) (pHPMA(SH)) nullified the off-target effects and cytotoxicity in tested cell lines. This suggests that the simultaneous action of carboxyl and disulfide groups in PMA(SH) polymer or capsules may play a role in mediating the intracellular off-target effects. Our work provides evidence that the rational design of redox-active carriers for therapeutic-related application should be guided by a careful investigation on potential disturbance of the cellular machineries related to the carrier association.
This article was published in Nanoscale
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine