Main content area

Photothermal Therapeutic Response of Cancer Cells to Aptamer–Gold Nanoparticle-Hybridized Graphene Oxide under NIR Illumination

Yang, Lingyan, Tseng, Yu-Ting, Suo, Guangli, Chen, Liliang, Yu, Jiantao, Chiu, Wei-Jane, Huang, Chih-Ching, Lin, Chia-Hua
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 v.7 no.9 pp. 5097-5106
adverse effects, biocompatibility, breast neoplasms, cell membranes, graphene oxide, heat, heat shock proteins, humans, lighting, mucins, nanocomposites, nanogold, neoplasm cells, protein synthesis, therapeutics
The objective of this study was to synthesize a nanocomposite, aptamer–gold nanoparticle-hybridized graphene oxide (Apt-AuNP–GO), to facilitate targeted treatment of tumor cells by near-infrared (NIR) light-activatable photothermal therapy. We also investigated whether Apt-AuNP–GO with NIR illumination modulates heat shock proteins (HSPs) expression leading to therapeutic response in human breast cancer cells. These findings can provide strategies for improving the photothermal therapy efficacy of cancer. The self-assembled Apt-AuNP–GO nanocomposite could selectively target MUC1-positive human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) due to the specific interaction between the MUC1-binding-aptamer and the MUC1 (type I transmembrane mucin glycoprotein) on cell membrane. In addition, Apt-AuNP–GO has a high light-to-heat conversion capability for photoabsorption of NIR light, and it is able to exert therapeutic effects on MCF-7 cells at an ultralow concentration without inducing adverse effects in healthy cells. The Apt-AuNP–GO nanocomposites combine the advantages of GOs, AuNPs, and Apts, possess specific targeting capability, excellent biocompatibility, and tumor cell destruction ability, suggesting great potential for application in the photothermal therapy of breast cancer. Under NIR illumination, Apt-AuNP–GO induced transient increase in HSP70 expression, which decreased thereafter. This phenomenon may cause irreversible damage to Apt-AuNP–GO-treated MCF-7 cell under NIR illumination. We also demonstrated that the combination therapy of heat and HSP70 inhibitor could synergistically generate marked tumoricidal effects against breast cancer. These results suggest that the degree and duration of HSP70 protein expression are correlated with therapeutic effects against breast cancer for Apt-AuNP–GO-assisted photothermal therapy. We believe that such a nanocomposite can be readily extended to the construction of HSP70 inhibitors-loaded Apt-AuNP–GO, which could deliver both heat and HSP70 inhibitors to tumorigenic regions for the chemo-photothermal therapy.