Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 494-495

Role of polyhydroxyalkanoates in cancer and other drug delivery systems

School of Biotechnology, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Gandhi Nagar, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication7-Jul-2015

Correspondence Address:
Roopesh Jain
School of Biotechnology, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Airport Bypass Road, Gandhi Nagar, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.140784

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Jain R, Tiwari A. Role of polyhydroxyalkanoates in cancer and other drug delivery systems. J Can Res Ther 2015;11:494-5

How to cite this URL:
Jain R, Tiwari A. Role of polyhydroxyalkanoates in cancer and other drug delivery systems. J Can Res Ther [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Dec 3];11:494-5. Available from: https://www.cancerjournal.net/text.asp?2015/11/2/494/140784


Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), a family of biopolyesters with diverse structures, are the only bioplastics completely synthesized by microorganisms seems to be a solution for the problem pertaining to the resistance of synthetic polymers to biodegradation and their persistence in soil environment. Biopolymers produced from microorganisms or from plants are likely to replace currently used synthetic polymers as plastics. [1] Known examples include several PHAs, including poly 3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), copolymers of 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV), poly 4-hydroxybutyrate (P4HB), copolymers of 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxyhexanoate (PHBHHx) and poly 3-hydroxyoctanoate (PHO) etc. PHAs have been intensively studied in targeted drug delivery systems as a vector for targeting drugs, particularly for one of the biggest medical challenge, cancer.

A step ahead research at Multidisciplinary Research Center, Shantou University on the assessment of the risks of carcinogenicity associated with PHAs through an analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) aneuploid and telomerase activity clearly indicate that PHA family members could be used to support cell growth without indication of susceptibility to tumor induction. [2] These results are important for promoting the application of PHAs as safe biomaterials for biomedical uses.

In recent years many researches have shown that PHA is an attractive polymer for its use in effective drug delivery in cancer therapy and also as medical implants, due to its biodegradability and nontoxic properties. Researcher in Ireland studied anticancer activity of a cationic antimicrobial peptide derived from monomers of PHA. [3]

PHAs being a family of biodegradable, nontoxic, biocompatible polyesters can be used as a nonspecific immobilizing matrix for protein presentation. A receptor-mediated, drug-specific delivery system has been reported by scientists, based on the PHA granule binding protein-PhaP. Recombinant protein fusion with PHA granule binding protein (also known as phasins) can be immobilized on the surface of PHA nanoparticles through hydrophobic interactions between PhaP and PHA, and therefore provides a low-cost protein presenting strategy.

An experimental article published in "Biomaterial", described how a receptor-mediated drug delivery system that consists of PHA nanoparticles, PhaP, and polypeptide or protein ligands fused to PhaP was developed. PhaP fused with ligands were produced by overexpression of their corresponding genes in recombinant microorganisms. Transplantable murine hepatoma22 model cells were used to evaluate the in vivo targeting effects of novel delivery systems, whereas macrophages and hepatocellular carcinoma cell Bel7402 were used to investigate the in vitro specific targeting of the ligand coated nanoparticles, respectively. Furthermore, the ligand-PhaP-PHA nanoparticle specific drug delivery system was proven effectively both in vitro and in vivo. [4]

In another research in China, researchers focused on costimulation of T cells via costimulatory molecules such as B7 (important for eliciting cell-mediated antitumor immunity). They studied heterologous expression of human costimulatory molecule B7-2 and construction of B7-2 immobilized PHA nanoparticles for use as an immune activation agent. In this study, the extracellular domain of the B7-2 molecule was fused with PhaP at its N-terminal and heterogeneously expressed in recombinant E. coli strain BL21 (DE3). The purified B7-2-PhaP protein was immobilized on the surface of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBHHx)-based nanoparticles. Immobilized B7-2-PhaP on PHBHHx nanoparticles provided costimulation signals to induce T cell activation and proliferation in vitro. [5]

Being a biocompatible material PHA is a significant candidate in drug research including implantable tissue engineering material for hard tissue replacement, regeneration, wound healing, and controlled drug release.

 > References Top

Jain R, Kosta S, Tiwari A. Polyhydroxyalkanoates: A way to sustainable development of bioplastics. Chron Young Sci 2010;1:10-5  Back to cited text no. 1
Peng SW, Guo XY, Shang GG, Li J, Xu XY, You ML, et al. An assessment of the risks of carcinogenicity associated with polyhydroxyalkanoates through an analysis of DNA aneuploid and telomerase activity. Biomaterials 2011;32:2546-55.  Back to cited text no. 2
O'Connor S, Szwej E, Nikodinovic-Runic J, O'Connor A, Byrne AT, Devocelle M, et al. The anti-cancer activity of a cationic anti-microbial peptide derived from monomers of polyhydroxyalkanoate. Biomaterials 2013;34:2710-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Yao YC, Zhan XY, Zhang J, Zou XH, Wang ZH, Xiong YC, et al. A specific drug targeting system based on polyhydroxyalkanoate granule binding protein PhaP fused with targeted cell ligands. Biomaterials 2008;29:4823-30.  Back to cited text no. 4
Li MC, Liu QQ, Lu XY, Zhang YL, Wang LL. Heterologous expression of human costimulatory molecule B7-2 and construction of B7-2 immobilized polyhydroxyalkanoate nanoparticles for use as an immune activation agent. BMC Biotechnol 2012;12:43.  Back to cited text no. 5


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded248    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal