Targeting Mitochondria in Tumor-Associated Macrophages using a Dendrimer-Conjugated TSPO Ligand that Stimulates Antitumor Signaling in Glioblastoma

Anjali Sharma, Kevin Liaw, Rishi Sharma, Ajit G. Thomas, Barbara S. Slusher, Sujatha Kannan, Rangaramanujam M. Kannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mitochondria mediate critical cellular processes, including proliferation, apoptosis, and immune responses; as such, their dysfunction is pathogenic in many neurodegenerative disorders and cancers. In glioblastoma, targeted delivery of mitochondria-focused anticancer therapies has failed to translate into clinical success due to the nonspecific cellular localization, heterogeneity of receptor expression across patients, poor transport across biological barriers to reach the brain, tumor, and mitochondria, and systemic side effects. Strategies that can overcome brain and solid tumor barriers and selectively target mitochondria within specific cell types may lead to improvements in glioblastoma treatment. Developments in dendrimer-mediated nanomedicines have shown promise targeting tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in glioblastoma, following systemic administration. Here, we present a novel dendrimer conjugated to the translocator protein (18 kDa) (TSPO) ligand 5,7-dimethylpyrazolo[1,5-α]pyrimidin-3-ylacetamide (DPA). We developed a clickable DPA for conjugation on the dendrimer surface and demonstrated in vitro that the dendrimer-DPA conjugate (D-DPA) significantly increases dendrimer colocalization with mitochondria. Compared to free TSPO ligand PK11195, D-DPA stimulates greater antitumor immune signaling. In vivo, we show that D-DPA targets mitochondria specifically within TAMs following systemic administration. Our results demonstrate that dendrimers can achieve TAM-specific targeting in glioblastoma and can be further modified to target specific intracellular compartments for organelle-specific drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3909-3922
Number of pages14
JournalBiomacromolecules
Volume21
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 14 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Targeting Mitochondria in Tumor-Associated Macrophages using a Dendrimer-Conjugated TSPO Ligand that Stimulates Antitumor Signaling in Glioblastoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this