A novel lanreotide-encoded micelle system targets paclitaxel to the tumors with overexpression of somatostatin receptors

Nan Zheng, Wenbing Dai, Wenwen Du, Haoran Zhang, Liandi Lei, Hua Zhang, Xueqing Wang, Jiancheng Wang, Xuan Zhang, Jinming Gao, Qiang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Many tumor cells specifically overexpress somatostatin receptors, in particular, subtype 2 (SSTR2). Lanreotide, a somatostatin analogue with high affinity for SSTR2, can be exploited as a ligand for tumor targeted therapy. In this study, lanreotide was first conjugated to poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(μ-caprolactone) (PEG-b-PCL) copolymer, and the active targeting micelles with paclitaxel (lanreotide-PM-PTX) or fluorescent agent were constructed and characterized with various analytical methods. Lanreotide-PM-PTX micelles were spherical in shape with a hydrodynamic diameter of 43.2 ± 0.4 nm, high drug encapsulation (87.1 ± 2.8%) and slow drug release rate. Two cancer cell lines (human lung cancer H446 and human breast cancer MCF-7 cells) with different expression levels of SSTR2 were used in this study. As observed by flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and cytotoxicity studies, lanreotide-encoded PEG-b-PCL micelles demonstrated more specific cell uptake and cytotoxicity in SSTR2-positive tumor cells via a receptor-mediated mechanism over the passive targeting micelles. The active targeting micelles showed higher accumulation in tumor tissue and tumor cells in tumor-bearing mice in vivo by near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging, high-performance liquid chromatography and confocal microscopy, respectively. Furthermore, treatment with lanreotide-PM-PTX micelles resulted in stronger tumor inhibition, increased life span and enhanced tumor cell apoptosis in SSTR2-overexpressing tumor model in athymic nude mice. The in vivo efficacy test with both H446 and MCF-7 tumor models further demonstrated the involvement of receptor-mediated interaction. Finally, the active targeting micelles exhibited less body weight loss, lower hemolysis and lower myelosuppression, as compared with the control groups. In conclusion, lanreotide can serve as an effective homing peptide, and the lanreotide-modified PEG-b-PCL micelles hold considerable promise in the treatment of SSTR2-overexpressing solid tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1175-1188
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 7 2012


  • active targeting micelles
  • antitumor efficacy
  • distribution in tumor
  • lanreotide
  • paclitaxel
  • receptor-mediated cellular uptake
  • somatostatin receptors
  • toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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