Evaluation of anticancer activity of celastrol liposomes in prostate cancer cells

Joy Wolfram, Krishna Suri, Yi Huang, Roberto Molinaro, Carlotta Borsoi, Bronwyn Scott, Kathryn Boom, Donatella Paolino, Massimo Fresta, Jianghua Wang, Mauro Ferrari, Christian Celia, Haifa Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Context: Celastrol, a natural compound derived from the herb Tripterygium wilfordii, is known to have anticancer activity, but is not soluble in water. Objective: Formation of celastrol liposomes, to avoid the use of toxic solubilising agents. Materials and methods: Two different formulations of PEGylated celastrol liposomes were fabricated. Liposomal characteristics and serum stability were determined using dynamic light scattering. Drug entrapment efficacy and drug release were measured spectrophotometrically. Cellular internalisation and anticancer activity was measured in prostate cancer cells. Results: Liposomal celastrol displayed efficient serum stability, cellular internalisation and anticancer activity, comparable to that of the free drug reconstituted in dimethyl sulfoxide. Discussion and conclusion: Liposomal celastrol can decrease the viability of prostate cancer cells, while eliminating the need for toxic solubilising agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-507
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Microencapsulation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014


  • Celastrol
  • Liposomes
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Bioengineering
  • Organic Chemistry


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