Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, 15:1929 | Cite as

A facile drug delivery system preparation through the interaction between drug and iron ion of transferrin

Research Paper


Many anticancer drugs have the capability to form stable complex with metal ions. Based on such property, a simple method to combine these drugs with transferrin, through the interaction between drug and Fe ion of transferrin, to improve their anticancer activity, is proposed. To demonstrate this technique, the complex of photosensitive anticancer drug hypocrellin A and transferrin was prepared by such facile method. The results indicated that the complex of hypocrellin A and transferrin can stabilize in aqueous solution. In vitro studies have demonstrated the superior cancer cell uptake ability of hypocrellin A–transferrin complex to the free hypocrellin A. Significant damage to such drug-impregnated tumor cells was observed upon irradiation and the cancer cells killing ability of hypocrellin A–transferrin was stronger than the free hypocrellin A within a certain range of concentrations. The above results demonstrated the validity and potential of our proposed strategy to prepare the drug delivery system of this type of anti-cancer drugs and transferrin.


Transferrin Hypocrellin A Iron Cancer Drug delivery 



This research was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21201102), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions of China (No.12KJB150015 and 10KJB150008), the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD), One Hundred Talents Project Program of Nanjing Normal University, the Scientific Research Foundation of Nanjing Normal University (No. 2011103XG0249), and the Open Project Program of State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, China Pharmaceutical University (No. SKLNMKF201223).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Key Laboratory Biofunctional Materials, Key Laboratory of Applied Photochemistry, Analysis and Testing Center, College of Chemistry and Materials ScienceNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Complex Prescription of TCMChina Pharmaceutical UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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