Targeted drug delivery via human epidermal growth factor receptor for sustained release of allyl isothiocyanate

David Encinas-Basurto, Josué Juarez, Miguel A. Valdez, María G. Burboa, Silvia Barbosa, Pablo Taboada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In this study, allyl-isothiocyanate (AITC)-loaded Polylactic-Co-Glycolic Acid (PLGA) Nanoparticles (NPs) were prepared for targeting epithelial squamous carcinoma cells using a specific antibody targeting the Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) receptor overexpressed on the cell membranes. AITC-loaded PLGA NPs showed more effective anticancer properties compared with free AITC, and their cytotoxicity was even more pronounced when the anti-EGFR antibody was covalently attached to the NPs surface. This targeting ability was additionally tested by co-culturing cervical HeLa cells, with very few EGFR on the membranes, and epithelial squamous carcinoma A431 cells, which largely overexpressed EFGR, being observed the specific localization of the antibody-functionalized AITC-loaded PLGA NPs solely in the latter types of cells, whereas non-functionalized NPs were distributed randomly in both cell types in much lesser extents. Thus, our findings support the development of drug delivery strategies that enhances the delivery of anti-cancer natural compounds to tumor tissue, in this case, by targeting specific tumor cell receptors with cell-specific ligands followed by tumor sensitization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1252-1260
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent topics in medicinal chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Bentham Science Publishers.


  • Allyl isothiocyanate
  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Isothiocyanates
  • PLGA
  • Surface modification
  • Target delivery


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