Improvement of affinity toward target tissues for extracellular-based treatment strategies

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanosized vesicles that carry cell-specific biomolecular information. Previous studies by researchers at Lehigh University showed that adult human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (BM-MSC)-derived EVs provide antiproteolytic and proregenerative effects in cultures of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) derived from an elastase-infused rat abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) model, and this is promising toward their use as a therapeutic platform for naturally irreversible elastic matrix aberrations in the aortic wall. Since systemically administered EVs poorly home into sites of tissue injury, disease strategies to improve their affinity toward target tissues are of great significance for EV-based treatment strategies. Toward this goal, in this work, the researchers developed a postisolation surface modification strategy to target MSC-derived EVs to the AAA wall. The EVs were surface-conjugated with a short, synthetic, azide-modified peptide sequence for targeted binding to cathepsin K (CatK), a cysteine protease overexpressed in the AAA wall. Conjugation was performed using a copper-free click chemistry method. They determined that such conjugation improved EV uptake into cultured aneurysmal SMCs in culture and their binding to the wall of matrix injured vessels ex vivo. The proregenerative and antiproteolytic effects of MSC-EVs on cultured rat aneurysmal SMCs were also unaffected following peptide conjugation. From this study, it appears that modification with short synthetic peptide sequences seems to be an effective strategy for improving the cell-specific uptake of EVs and may be effective in facilitating AAA-targeted therapy.

S S, Camardo A, Dahal S, Ramamurthi A. (2023) Surface-Functionalized Stem Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles for Vascular Elastic Matrix Regenerative Repair. Mol Pharm Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *