Enzyme-Instructed Nanostructures for Selectively Inhibiting Cancer Cells

This talk will cover enzyme-instructed nanoscale molecular self-assembly in cellular milieu for developing anticancer therapeutics without inducing drug resistance. We highlight enzyme-instructed self-assembly (EISA)—the integration of enzymatic transformation and molecular self-assembly—as a multi-step process for the development of cancer therapy. Using apoptosis as an example, we illustrate that the combination of enzymatic transformation and self-assembly, in fact, is an inherent feature of apoptosis. After the introduction of EISA of small molecules in the context of self-assembled nanostructures—supramolecular hydrogels, we describe several key studies to underscore the promises of EISA for developing cancer therapy. Particularly, we will discuss that EISA allows one to develop approaches to target “undruggable” targets or “untargetable” features of cancer cells and provides the opportunity for simultaneously interacting with multiple targets. We will highlight developing anticancer nanomedicine that inhibit multiple hallmark capabilities of cancer without inducing drug resistance.

bing-xuBing Xu, PhD, is a Professor of Chemistry at Brandeis University.  His research focuses on the interdisciplinary frontier of materials chemistry. His lab integrates knowledge and techniques in organic chemistry, materials science, surface chemistry, biochemistry, and nanotechnology to design new biofunctional materials, including nanomaterials, for the exploration in biomedicine (e.g., molecular drug delivery, cancer therapy, biomedical diagnostics, and biomimetics), and other fundamental problems in nanoscience and biological science.