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Targeting cancer cells using integrin receptor is one of the promising targeting strategies in drug delivery. In this study, we conjugated an integrin-binding ligand (GGRGDSK) peptide to chitosan oligosaccharide (COS) using (sulfo-SMCC) bifunctional linker affording COS-SMCC-GGRGDSK. The conjugated polymer was characterized by FT-IR, 1H NMR, 13C NMR, and SEM. COS-SMCC-GGRGDSK did not show cytotoxicity up to a concentration of 1 mg/mL in the human leukemia cell line (CCRF-CEM). The conjugate was evaluated for its ability to enhance the cellular uptake of cell-impermeable cargoes (e.g., FAM and F′-G(pY)EEI phosphopeptide) in CCRF-CEM, and human ovarian carcinoma (SK-OV-3) cancer cell lines. Additionally, RGD modified and unmodified COS polymers were used to prepare nanoparticles by ionic gelation and showed particle size ranging from 187 to 338 mm, and zeta potential of 12.2–18.3 mV using dynamic light scattering. The efficiency of COS-NPs and COS-SMCC-RGDSK NPs was assayed for translocation of two synthetic cytotoxic agents ((2-(2-aminoethylamino)-4-(4-chlorophenyl)-6-(1H-indol-3-yl) nicotinonitrile (ACIN), and 2-(2-aminoethylamino)-6-(1H-indol-3-yl)-4-(4-methoxyphenyl)-nicotinonitrile (AMIN)) into CCRF-CEM and human prostate (DU-145) cancer cell lines. The results showed a dramatic reduction in the cell viability on their treatment with RGD targeted COS NPs in comparison to paclitaxel (PTX), free drug, and drug-loaded COS NPs.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was published in International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, volume 87, in 2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.03.020

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