Nano-Micro Letters

One Stone Four Birds: A Novel Liposomal Delivery System Multi-Functionalized with Ginsenoside Rh2 for Tumor Targeting Therapy

Chao Hong1, Jianming Liang1, 2, Jiaxuan Xia1, Ying Zhu3, Yizhen Guo1, Anni Wang1, Chunyi Lu4, Hongwei Ren1, Chen Chen1, Shiyi Li1, Dan Wang1,5, Huaxing Zhan5, Jianxin Wang1, 6, *

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Nano-Micro Lett. (2020) 12: 129

First Online: 16 June 2020 (Article)


*Corresponding author. E-mail: (Jianxin Wang)





Liposomes hold great potential in anti-cancer drug delivery and the targeting treatment of tumors. However, the clinical therapeutic efficacy of liposomes is still limited by the complexity of tumor microenvironment (TME) and the insufficient accumulation in tumor sites. Meanwhile, the application of cholesterol and polyethylene glycol (PEG), which are usually used to prolong the blood circulation and stabilize the structure of liposomes respectively, has been questioned due to various disadvantages. Herein, we developed a ginsenoside Rh2 based multifunctional liposome system (Rh2-lipo) to effectively address these challenges once for all. Different with the conventional ‘wooden’ liposomes, Rh2-lipo is a much more brilliant carrier with multiple functions. In Rh2-lipo, both cholesterol and PEG were substituted by Rh2, which works as membrane stabilizer, long circulating stealther, active targeting ligand, and chemotherapy adjuvant at the same time. Firstly, Rh2 could keep the stability of liposomes and avoid the shortcomings caused by cholesterol. Secondly, Rh2-lipo showed a specifically prolonged circulation behavior in the blood. Thirdly, the accumulation of the liposomes in the tumor was significantly enhanced by the interaction of glucose transporter of tumor cells with Rh2. Fourth, Rh2-lipo could remodel the structure and reverse the immunosuppressive environment in TME. When tested in a 4T1 breast carcinoma xenograft model, the paclitaxel loaded Rh2-lipo realized high efficient tumor growth suppression. Therefore, Rh2-lipo not only innovatively challenges the position of cholesterol as a liposome component, but also provides another innovative potential system with multiple functions for anti-cancer drug delivery.



Ginsenoside Rh2, Liposomes, Cholesterol, Multifunction, Tumor targeting

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