Folic acid-modified Exosome-PH20 enhances the efficiency of therapy via modulation of the tumor microenvironment and directly inhibits tumor cell metastasis.
Bioact Mater. 2021 Apr ;6(4):963-974. Epub 2020 Oct 9. PMID: 33102939
High accumulation of hyaluronan (HA) in the tumor microenvironment leads to an increase in the interstitial pressure and reduction perfusion of drugs. Furthermore, high molecular-weight (HMW)-HA suppresses M1 macrophage polarization, enhances M2 polarization, and induces immunosuppression. Hyaluronidase treatment have attempted to decrease the quantity of HA in tumors. However, hyaluronidase-driven HA degradation driven accelerates tumor cell metastasis, which is a major cause of mortality in cancer patients. Thus, we designed a novel exosome-based drug delivery system (DDS), named Exos-PH20-FA, using genetic engineering to express human hyaluronidase (PH20) and self-assembly techniques to modify the exosomes with folic acid (FA). Our results show that Exos-PH20-FA degraded HMW-HA to low-molecular-weight (LMW)-HA. Moreover, LMW-HA polarized macrophages to the M1 phenotype and reduced the number of relevant immunosuppressive immunocytes which changed the immune microenvironment from an immunosuppressive to immunosupportive phenotype. Furthermore, we demonstrated Exos-PH20-FA directly reduced hyaluronidase-induced metastasis of tumor cells. This tumor treatment also allowed an enhanced delivery of chemotherapy by tumor-targeting effect with FA modification. Our findings indicate that Exos-PH20-FA improves tumor treatment efficiency and reduces the side effects of hyaluronidase treatment, namely tumor cell metastasis. This all-in-one exosome-based HA targeting DDS maybe a promising treatment that yields more efficient and safer results.