The Mitochondrial Trojan Horse
Shuttling anticancer drugs directly into the cell’s powerhouse with MOFs
Maryam Mahdi | | Quick Read
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Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a metal-organic framework (MOF) that helps deliver cancer drug candidates directly to mitochondria (1).
According to David Fairén-Jiménez, a researcher at the university, the MOFs developed by his team enter the cells via receptor-mediated endocytosis, “smuggling” drugs into mitochondria. “We loaded our MOFs with dichloroacetate, an anticancer drug candidate currently undergoing clinical trials, and found that the drug-loaded MOFs can reduce the drug dose needed to kill cancer cells, something that could lessen the side-effects of chemotherapy,” he said (2).
Fairén-Jiménez admits the research is just “one piece in a jigsaw” of effort around the possibilities of MOFs for targeted drug delivery. His group is currently expanding its work to investigate the potential of different MOFs, anticancer drugs, and coatings.
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- S Haddad et a.l, “Design of a Functionalized Metal–Organic Framework System for Enhanced Targeted Delivery to Mitochondria”, J Am Chem Soc, 142, 6661, (2020).
- Chemistry World, “MOF delivers cancer drug candidate straight to mitochondria”, 2020. Available at: https://bit.ly/3boP0FR