Nanostructured toxins for the selective destruction of drug-resistant human CXCR4+ colorectal cancer stem cells.

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Current therapies fail to eradicate colorectal Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs). One of the proposed reasons for this failure is the selection, by chemotherapy exposure, of resistant cells responsible for tumor recurrence. In this regard, CXCR4 overexpression in tumor associates with resistance and poor prognosis in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. In this study, the effectiveness of engineered CXCR4-targeted self-assembling toxin nanoparticles has been explored in the selective killing of CXCR4+ human colon-CSCs compared to 5-Fluorouracil and Oxaliplatin, both classical CRC chemotherapeutic agents. To assess this, 3D spheroid colon-CSCs cultures directly derived from CRC patients and CRC-CSC spheroid-derived tumor mouse models were developed. In these animal models, nanostructured toxins show highly selective induction of pyroptosis in the absence of apoptosis, thus having a great potential to overcome tumor resistance, since the same tumor models show resistance to chemotherapeutics. Results set the basis for further development of more efficient therapies focused on selective CXCR4+ CSCs elimination activating non-apoptotic mechanisms and represent a pre-clinical proof of concept for the use of CSCs-targeted nanostructured toxins as protein drugs for CRC therapy.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalJournal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2020

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