The delivery of anti-cancer therapeutics to tumors at clinically effective concentrations, while avoiding nonspecific toxicity, remains a major challenge for cancer treatment. Here we present nanoparticles of poly(amidoamine) dendrimer-grafted gadolinium-functionalized nanographene oxide (Gd-NGO) as effective carriers to deliver both chemotherapeutic drugs and highly specific gene-targeting agents such as microRNAs (miRNAs) to cancer cells. The positively charged surface of Gd-NGO was capable of simultaneous adsorption of the anti-cancer drug epirubicin (EPI) and interaction with negatively charged Let-7g miRNA. Using human glioblastoma (U87) cells as a model, we found that this conjugate of Let-7g and EPI (Gd-NGO/Let-7g/EPI) not only exhibited considerably higher transfection efficiency, but also induced better inhibition of cancer cell growth than Gd-NGO/Let-7g or Gd-NGO/EPI. The concentration of Gd-NGO/Let-7g/EPI required for 50% inhibition of cellular growth (IC50) was significantly reduced (to the equivalent of 1.3μg/mL EPI) compared to Gd-NGO/EPI (3.4μg/mL EPI). In addition, Gd-NGO/Let-7g/EPI could be used as a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging to identify the location and extent of blood-brain barrier opening and quantitate drug delivery to tumor tissues. These results suggest that Gd-NGO/Let-7g/EPI may be a promising non-viral vector for chemogene therapy and molecular imaging diagnosis in future clinical applications.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2014 Aug|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Mechanics of Materials