Silk sericin-polylactide protein-polymer conjugates as biodegradable amphiphilic material and its application in drug release systems

Boonpavanitchakul, Kanittha and Bast, Livia K. and Bruns, Nico and Magaraphan, Rattanawan (2020) Silk sericin-polylactide protein-polymer conjugates as biodegradable amphiphilic material and its application in drug release systems. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 31 (10). pp. 2312-2324.

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    Abstract

    Silk sericin (SS) is a byproduct of silk production. In order to transform it into value-added products, sericin can be used as a biodegradable and pH-responsive building block in drug delivery materials. To this end, amphiphilic substances were synthesized via the conjugation of hydrophobic polylactide (PLA) to the hydrophilic sericin using a bis-aryl hydrazone linker. PLA was esterified with a terephthalaldehydic acid to obtain aromatic aldehyde terminated PLA (PLA-CHO). In addition, lysine groups of SS were modified with the linker succinimidyl-6-hydrazino-nicotinamide (S-HyNic). Then, both macromolecules were mixed to form the amphipilic protein-polymer conjugate in buffer-DMF solution. The formation of bis-aryl hydrazone linkages was confirmed and quantified by UV-vis spectroscopy. SS-PLA conjugates self-assembled in water into spherical multicompartment micelles with a diameter of around 100 nm. Doxorubicin (DOX) was selected as a model drug for studying the pH-dependent drug release from SS-PLA nanoparticles. The release rate of the encapsulated drug was slower than that of the free drug and dependent on pH, faster at pH 5.0, and it resulted in a larger cumulative amount of drug released than at physiological pH of 7.4. The SS-PLA conjugate of high PLA branches showed smaller particle size and lower loading capacity than the one with low PLA branches. Both SS-PLA conjugates had negligible cytotoxicity, whereas after loading with DOX, the SS-PLA micelles were highly toxic for the human liver carcinoma immortalized cell line HepG2. Therefore, the SS-based biodegradable amphiphilic material showed great potential as a drug carrier for cancer therapy.