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    Disulfiram (DSF), a familiar FDA-approved drug used for alcohol withdrawal, has recently been verified with potent antitumor therapeutic effect by generating Cu(DTC)2, which is the complex of its metabolite diethyldithiocarbamate (DTC) and copper. However, its poor tumor selectivity and insufficient endogenous Cu2+ concentration within tumor site largely hinders the application of DSF-based antitumor therapy. Therefore, a GSH-responsive coordination nanoparticles (Cu-IXZ@DSF) was established as a copper carrier to achieve synchronous but separate delivery of Cu2+ and DSF without antitumor ability, further to realize selectively triggered tumor in situ Cu(DTC)2 generation for antitumor therapy. A widely-used proteasome inhibitor ixazomib (IXZ) was chosen as ligands and Cu2+ was used as coordination nodes to form nanosized Cu-IXZ@DSF. The DSF encapsulated in Cu-IXZ@DSF could be reduced to DTC by intracellular GSH, which could contend for Cu2+ and realize in situ high toxic Cu(DTC)2 generation. Meanwhile, the chelation could lead to the disassembly of Cu-IXZ@DSF and release of IXZ to eventually achieve tumor specific "transformation from low toxicity to high toxicity" chemotherapy. The results of in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that the as-prepared nanoplatform Cu-IXZ@DSF showed good biosafety and excellent antitumor effect via endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation pathway. Therefore, this nanocarrier provides an inspiring strategy with specific-triggered antitumor Cu(DTC)2 generation for DSF-based chemotherapy with high therapeutic effect and biosafety and showing great potential of treating cancer. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Meixu Chen, Zeqian Huang, Meng Xia, Yaqing Ding, Ting Shan, Zilin Guan, Xiuling Dai, Xiaoyu Xu, Yanjuan Huang, Min Huang, Chunshun Zhao. Glutathione-responsive copper-disulfiram nanoparticles for enhanced tumor chemotherapy. Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society. 2022 Jan;341:351-363

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    PMID: 34856225

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