Radiotherapy-mediated redox homeostasis-controllable nanomedicine for enhanced ferroptosis sensitivity in tumor therapy

  • Impact factors: 10.633
  • Publication: Acta Biomaterialia
  • Author:Yang Lin, Xiangwu Chen, Cancan Yu, Guixiang Xu, Xinxin Nie, Yufeng Cheng, Yuxia Luan, Qingxu Song
  • DOI citation-doi:10.1016/j.actbio.2023.01.022
  • Date:2023-01-13

Ferroptosis has received increasing attentions in cancer therapy owing to its unique advantages over apoptosis. However, ferroptosis is governed by the efficiency of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and the tumor cell antioxidant microenvironment that compromises therapeutic efficacy of ferroptosis. It is of great significance to develop a strategy that can both achieve high-efficiency ROS production and modulate tumor cell antioxidant microenvironment to amplify ferroptosis. However, until now, such a strategy has rarely been realized. Here, we, for the first time, reported a radiotherapy -mediated redox homeostasis-controllable nanomedicine for amplifying ferroptosis sensitivity in tumor therapy. The nanomedicine is constructed by co-assembling a ferroptosis inducer hemin and a thioredoxin 1 (Trx-1) inhibitor 1-methylpropyl 2-imidazolyl disulfide (PX-12) with human serum albumin. For our nanomedicine, hemin converts H2O2 to ROS via Fenton reaction to induce ferroptosis while PX-12 effectively inhibits the activity of antioxidant Trx-1 to suppress ROS depletion, resulting in amplified ferroptosis. Particularly, combining radiotherapy with the nanomedicine, radiotherapy depletes the other key antioxidant glutathione and generates additional radiotherapy-induced ROS, further boosting the ferroptosis effect. Therefore, our strategy can simultaneously ensure efficient ROS production and regulation of tumor cell antioxidant microenvironment, thereby enhancing efficacy of ferroptosis in tumor therapy. Our work offers an innovative approach to amplify ferroptosis sensitivity against tumors by simultaneously promoting ROS production and regulating redox homeostasis.Statement of significanceThe antioxidants such as thioredoxin 1 (Trx-1) and glutathione (GSH) in tumor cells, are significantly upregulated by the innate cancer cellular redox homeostasis, severely restricting the reactive oxygen species (ROS)-based therapy and compromising the effect of Fenton reaction-induced ferroptosis against tumors. It is urgent to develop a strategy to simultaneously achieve Fenton reaction-induced ferroptosis and regulate the cancer cellular redox homeostasis against upregulated levels of Trx-1 and GSH. A radiotherapy-mediated redox homeostasis-regulatable nanomedicine was designed for amplifying ferroptosis sensitivity in tumor therapy, where the therapeutic efficacy of ferroptosis against tumors can be significantly amplified by integrating Fenton reaction-induced and radiotherapy-induced ferroptosis as well as PX-12-enabled inhibition of antioxidant Trx-1 and radiotherapy-induced downregulation of antioxidant GSH levels.

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