Biotin decorated celastrol-loaded ZIF-8 nano-drug delivery system targeted epithelial ovarian cancer therapy

Ruisi Zhou, Yanting You, Zhiqiang Zha, Jie Chen, Yanchun Li, Xiaohu Chen, Xiaomei Chen, Xuefeng Jiang, Jinxiang Chen, Hiu Yee Kwan, Xiaoshan Zhao*, Liping Huang*, Yanyan Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Ovarian cancer (OC) stands as the second most prominent factor leading to cancer-related fatalities, characterized by a notably low five-year survival rate. The insidious onset of OC combined with its resistance to chemotherapy poses significant challenges in terms of treatment, emphasizing the utmost importance of developing innovative therapeutic agents. Despite its remarkable anti-tumor efficacy, celastrol (CEL) faces challenges regarding its clinical utilization in OC due to its restricted water solubility and notable side effects. In this study, celastrol (CEL) was encapsulated into Zeolitic imidazolate framework-8(ZIF-8) nanoparticle and grafted with biotin-conjugated polyethylene glycol (CEL@ZIF-8@PEG-BIO). Comprehensive comparisons of the physicochemical properties and anticancer activities of CEL and CEL@ZIF-8@PEG-BIO were conducted. Our findings revealed that CEL@ZIF-8@PEG-BIO exhibited favorable characteristics, including hydrodynamic diameters of 234.5 nm, excellent water solubility, high drug loading (31.60% ± 2.85), encapsulation efficiency (60.52% ± 2.79), and minimal side effects. Furthermore, CEL@ZIF-8@PEG-BIO can release chemicals in response to an acidic micro-environment, which is more likely a tumor micro-environment. In vitro, studies showed that CEL@ZIF-8@BIO inhibited cell proliferation, led to mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) decline, and generated reactive oxygen species in OC cells. Both in vitro and in vivo experiments indicated that CEL@ZIF-8@PEG-BIO enhanced anti-tumor activity against OC via up-regulated apoptosis-promoting biomarkers and rendered cancer cell apoptosis via the P38/JNK MAPK signaling pathway. In conclusion, we have successfully developed a novel drug delivery system (CEL@ZIF-8@PEG-BIO), resulting in significant improvements in both water solubility and anti-tumor efficacy thereby providing valuable insights for future clinical drug development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115573
Number of pages13
JournalBiomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
Early online date26 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Celastrol
  • Zeolitic imidazolate framework-8
  • Anti-tumor
  • Biotin


Dive into the research topics of 'Biotin decorated celastrol-loaded ZIF-8 nano-drug delivery system targeted epithelial ovarian cancer therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this