Drug resistance is a multifactorial phenomenon that limits the action of antibiotics and chemotherapeutics. Therefore, it is essential to develop new therapeutic strategies capable of inducing cytotoxic effects circumventing chemoresistance. In this regard, the employment of natural and synthetic cationic peptides and polymers has given satisfactory results both in microbiology, as antibacterial agents, but also in the oncological field, resulting in effective treatment against several tumors, including neuroblastoma (NB). To this end, two polystyrene-based copolymers (P5, P7), containing primary ammonium groups, were herein synthetized and tested on etoposide-sensitive (HTLA-230) and etoposide-resistant (HTLA-ER) NB cells. Both copolymers were water-soluble and showed a positive surface charge due to nitrogen atoms, which resulted in protonation in the whole physiological pH range. Furthermore, P5 and P7 exhibited stability in solution, excellent buffer capacity, and nanosized particles, and they were able to reduce NB cell viability in a concentration-dependent way. Interestingly, a significant increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was observed in both NB cell populations treated with P5 or P7, establishing for both copolymers an unequivocal correlation between cytotoxicity and ROS generation. Therefore, P5 and P7 could be promising template macromolecules for the development of new chemotherapeutic agents able to fight NB chemoresistance.

Synthesis of Polystyrene-Based Cationic Nanomaterials with Pro-Oxidant Cytotoxic Activity on Etoposide-Resistant Neuroblastoma Cells

Alfei, Silvana;Marengo, Barbara;Valenti, Giulia Elda;Domenicotti, Cinzia
2021

Abstract

Drug resistance is a multifactorial phenomenon that limits the action of antibiotics and chemotherapeutics. Therefore, it is essential to develop new therapeutic strategies capable of inducing cytotoxic effects circumventing chemoresistance. In this regard, the employment of natural and synthetic cationic peptides and polymers has given satisfactory results both in microbiology, as antibacterial agents, but also in the oncological field, resulting in effective treatment against several tumors, including neuroblastoma (NB). To this end, two polystyrene-based copolymers (P5, P7), containing primary ammonium groups, were herein synthetized and tested on etoposide-sensitive (HTLA-230) and etoposide-resistant (HTLA-ER) NB cells. Both copolymers were water-soluble and showed a positive surface charge due to nitrogen atoms, which resulted in protonation in the whole physiological pH range. Furthermore, P5 and P7 exhibited stability in solution, excellent buffer capacity, and nanosized particles, and they were able to reduce NB cell viability in a concentration-dependent way. Interestingly, a significant increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was observed in both NB cell populations treated with P5 or P7, establishing for both copolymers an unequivocal correlation between cytotoxicity and ROS generation. Therefore, P5 and P7 could be promising template macromolecules for the development of new chemotherapeutic agents able to fight NB chemoresistance.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1045636
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