ROS-responsive chitosan-SS31 prodrug for AKI therapy via rapid distribution in the kidney and long-term retention in the renal tubule

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Science Advances  09 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 41, eabb7422
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb7422


The development of drugs with rapid distribution in the kidney and long-term retention in the renal tubule is a breakthrough for enhanced treatment of acute kidney injury (AKI). Here, l-serine–modified chitosan (SC) was synthesized as a potential AKI kidney–targeting agent due to the native cationic property of chitosan and specific interaction between kidney injury molecule–1 (Kim-1) and serine. Results indicated that SC was rapidly accumulated and long-term retained in ischemia-reperfusion–induced AKI kidneys, especially in renal tubules, which was possibly due to the specific interactions between SC and Kim-1. SC-TK-SS31 was then prepared by conjugating SS31, a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant, to SC via reactive oxygen species (ROS)–sensitive thioketal linker. Because of the effective renal distribution combined with ROS-responsive drug release behavior, the administration of SC-TK-SS31 led to an enhanced therapeutic effect of SS31 by protecting mitochondria from damage and reducing the oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell apoptosis.

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