Thiolated α-cyclodextrin: The likely smallest drug carrier providing enhanced cellular uptake and endosomal escape

Kaplan Ö., Truszkowska M., Kali G., Knoll P., Blanco Massani M., Braun D. E., ...More

Carbohydrate Polymers, vol.316, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 316
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2023.121070
  • Journal Name: Carbohydrate Polymers
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Cellular uptake, Cyclodextrin, Endosomal escape, Thiol-mediated cellular uptake, Thiolated cyclodextrin
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


This study aimed to evaluate the effect of thiolated α-cyclodextrin (α-CD-SH) on the cellular uptake of its payload. For this purpose, α-CD was thiolated using phosphorous pentasulfide. Thiolated α-CD was characterized by FT-IR and 1H NMR spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and powder X-ray diffractometry (PXRD). Cytotoxicity of α-CD-SH was evaluated on Caco-2, HEK 293, and MC3T3 cells. Dilauryl fluorescein (DLF) and coumarin-6 (Cou) serving as surrogates for a pharmaceutical payload were incorporated in α-CD-SH, and cellular uptake was analyzed by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Endosomal escape was investigated by confocal microscopy and hemolysis assay. Results showed no cytotoxic effect within 3 h, while dose-dependent cytotoxicity was observed within 24 h. The cellular uptake of DLF and Cou was up to 20- and 11-fold enhanced by α-CD-SH compared to native α-CD, respectively. Furthermore, α-CD-SH provided an endosomal escape. According to these results, α-CD-SH is a promising carrier to shuttle drugs into the cytoplasm of target cells.