Hyaluronic acid-functionalized nanomicelles enhance saha efficacy in 3d endometrial cancer models

Kadie Edwards, Seydou Yao, Simone Pisano, Veronica Feltracco, Katja Brusehafer, Sumanta Samanta, Oommen P. Oommen, S. Andrea Gazze, Roberta Paravati, Holly Maddison, Chao Li, Deyarina Gonzalez, R. Steven Conlan, Lewis Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) enzymes are upregulated in cancer leading to the development of HDAC inhibiting compounds, several of which are currently in clinical trials. Side effects associated with toxicity and non-specific targeting indicate the need for efficient drug delivery approaches and tumor specific targeting to enhance HDAC efficacy in solid tumor cancers. SAHA encapsulation within F127 micelles functionalized with a surface hyaluronic acid moiety, was developed to target endometrial cancer cells expressing elevated levels of CD44. In vitro viability and morphology analyses was conducted in both 2D and 3D models to assess the translational potential of this approach. Encapsulation enhanced SAHA delivery and activity, demonstrating increased cytotoxic efficacy in 2D and 3D endometrial cancer models. High-content imaging showed improved nanoparticle internalization in 2D and CD44 enhanced penetration in 3D models. In addition, the nano-delivery system enhanced spheroid penetration resulting in cell growth suppression, p21 associated cell cycle arrest, as well as overcoming the formation of an EMT associated phenotype observed in free drug treated type II endometrial cancer cells. This study demonstrates that targeted nanoparticle delivery of SAHA could provide the basis for improving its efficacy in endometrial cancer. Using 3D models for endometrial cancer allows the elucidation of nanoparticle performance and CD44 targeting, likely through penetration and retention within the tumor model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4032
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 10 2021


  • 3D models
  • Epigenetics
  • F127 micelles
  • Gynecological oncology
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Nanomedicines
  • Polymeric nanoparticles
  • SAHA
  • Targeted therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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