Polymer Coated Oncolytic Adenovirus to Selectively Target Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

Mariangela Garofalo, Federica Bellato, Salvatore Magliocca, Alessio Malfanti, Lukasz Kuryk, Beate Rinner, Samuele Negro, Stefano Salmaso, Paolo Caliceti, Francesca Mastrotto
2021 Pharmaceutics  
Despite significant advances in chemotherapy, the overall prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains extremely poor. HCC targeting strategies were combined with the tumor cell cytotoxicity of oncolytic viruses (OVs) to develop a more efficient and selective therapeutic system. OVs were coated with a polygalactosyl-b-agmatyl diblock copolymer (Gal32-b-Agm29), with high affinity for the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR) expressed on the liver cell surface, exploiting the electrostatic
more » ... nteraction of the positively charged agmatine block with the negatively charged adenoviral capsid surface. The polymer coating altered the viral particle diameter (from 192 to 287 nm) and zeta-potential (from –24.7 to 23.3 mV) while hiding the peculiar icosahedral symmetrical OV structure, as observed by TEM. Coated OVs showed high potential therapeutic value on the human hepatoma cell line HepG2 (cytotoxicity of 72.4% ± 4.96), expressing a high level of ASGPRs, while a lower effect was attained with ASPGR-negative A549 cell line (cytotoxicity of 54.4% ± 1.59). Conversely, naked OVs showed very similar effects in both tested cell lines. Gal32-b-Agm29 OV coating enhanced the infectivity and immunogenic cell death program in HepG2 cells as compared to the naked OV. This strategy provides a rationale for future studies utilizing oncolytic viruses complexed with polymers toward effective treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics13070949 fatcat:6ykrwsk465gpjiaz2nigvao5bu