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Molecules 2018, 23(4), 939;

Pursuing Intracellular Pathogens with Hyaluronan. From a ‘Pro-Infection’ Polymer to a Biomaterial for ‘Trojan Horse’ Systems

Department of Drug Chemistry and Technologies, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
School of Healthcare, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Silvia Arpicco
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hyaluronic Acid and its Derivatives for Biomedical Applications)
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Hyaluronan (HA) is among the most important bioactive polymers in mammals, playing a key role in a number of biological functions. In the last decades, it has been increasingly studied as a biomaterial for drug delivery systems, thanks to its physico-chemical features and ability to target and enter certain cells. The most important receptor of HA is ‘Cluster of Differentiation 44’ (CD44), a cell surface glycoprotein over-expressed by a number of cancers and heavily involved in HA endocytosis. Moreover, CD44 is highly expressed by keratinocytes, activated macrophages and fibroblasts, all of which can act as ‘reservoirs’ for intracellular pathogens. Interestingly, both CD44 and HA appear to play a key role for the invasion and persistence of such microorganisms within the cells. As such, HA is increasingly recognised as a potential target for nano-carriers development, to pursuit and target intracellular pathogens, acting as a ‘Trojan Horse’. This review describes the biological relationship between HA, CD44 and the entry and survival of a number of pathogens within the cells and the subsequent development of HA-based nano-carriers for enhancing the intracellular activity of antimicrobials. View Full-Text
Keywords: hyaluronan; intracellular infections; CD44; nano-carriers; antimicrobial delivery hyaluronan; intracellular infections; CD44; nano-carriers; antimicrobial delivery

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Montanari, E.; Di Meo, C.; Oates, A.; Coviello, T.; Matricardi, P. Pursuing Intracellular Pathogens with Hyaluronan. From a ‘Pro-Infection’ Polymer to a Biomaterial for ‘Trojan Horse’ Systems. Molecules 2018, 23, 939.

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