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Mitochondria-targeting Au nanoclusters enhance radiosensitivity of cancer cells

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Abstract

Radiotherapy is an important technology for the clinical treatment of cancer, but the patients suffer from the severe side effects after exposure to radiation. There is an urgent need to develop theranostic agents with excellent imaging capability and effective radiosensitization in order to minimize X-ray irradiation. Herein, we report an approach to synthesize peptide-templated Au nanoclusters (AuNCs) for theranostic radiosensitization. A new peptide (CCYKFR) is designed for the preparation of AuNCs with uniform size distribution and fluorescence (656 nm) of high photostability. CCYKFR–AuNCs feature highly efficient targeting/accumulation on mitochondria after endocytosis. With a series of experiments, we demonstrate that CCYKFR–AuNCs irradiated by 4 Gy X-rays can introduce a burst of mitoROS and severe DNA damage leading to cancer cell death. This study presents an important strategy to design theranostic nanomaterials with improved radiosensitization for the development of new anti-cancer therapies.

Graphical abstract: Mitochondria-targeting Au nanoclusters enhance radiosensitivity of cancer cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Feb 2017, accepted on 01 May 2017 and first published on 17 May 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TB00422B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017, Advance Article
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    Mitochondria-targeting Au nanoclusters enhance radiosensitivity of cancer cells

    X. Fang, Y. Wang, X. Ma, Y. Li, Z. Zhang, Z. Xiao, L. Liu, X. Gao and J. Liu, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7TB00422B

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