Enhancement of the Cytotoxic Effect of Anticancer Agent by Cytochrome c Functionalised Hybrid Nanoparticles in Hepatocellular Cancer Cells

Maryam Malekigorji, Clare Hoskins, Tony Curtis, Gabor Varbiro

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Abstract

Treatment of hepatocellular cancer with chemotherapeutic agents has limited successin clinical practice and their efficient IC50 concentration would require extremely highdoses of drug administration which could not be tolerated due to systemic side effects.In order to potentiate the efficacy of anticancer agents we explored the potentialof co-treatment with pro-apoptotic Cytochrome c which activates the apoptoticpathway downstream of p53 that is frequently mutated in cancer. To this end weused hybrid iron oxide-gold nanoparticles as a drug delivery system to facilitate theinternalisation of Cytochrome c into cultured HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma cells.Our results showed that Cytochrome c can be easily conjugated to the gold shell ofthe nanoparticles which are readily taken up by the cells. We used Cytochrome cin concentration (0.2μgmL-1) below the threshold required to induce apoptosis onits own. When the conjugate was administered to cells treated by doxorubicin, itsignificantly reduced its IC50 concentration from 9μgmL-1 to 3.5μgmL-1 as detectedby cell viability assay, and the efficiency of doxorubicin on decreasing viability ofHepG2 cells was significantly enhanced in the lower concentration range between0.01μgmL-1 to 5μgmL-1. The results demonstrate the potential of the application oftherapeutic proteins in activating the apoptotic pathway to complement conventionalchemotherapy to increase its efficacy. The application of hybrid iron oxide-goldnanoparticles can also augment the specificity of drug targeting and could serve as amodel drug delivery system for pro-apoptotic protein targeting and delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Article number00010
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nanomedicine Research
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2014

Keywords

  • Hepatocellular cancer; Chemotherapy; Doxorubicin; Apoptosis; Cytochrome c; Hybrid

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