DNA–affibody nanoparticles for inhibiting breast cancer cells overexpressing HER2†
In this study, we have prepared a DNA–affibody nanoparticle which mimics a antibody in its ability to specifically target the HER2 receptor. This nanoparticle has a smaller size (95 kDa) than the monoclonal antibody, trastuzumab (150 kDa) and at least two-fold greater activity toward BT474 cells than trastuzumab. The DNA in this nanoparticle structure has two functions, namely as a support to anchor two affibody molecules and as a vehicle to non-covalently bind multiple copies of a small molecule drug for drug delivery. Each DNA–affibody nanoparticle can bind ∼53 molecules of doxorubicin (DOX) to form a complex, which exhibits greater selectivity toward and inhibition of breast cancer cells overexpressing HER2 than doxorubicin does. As expected, the nanoparticle exhibits lesser inhibition of cells expressing HER2 at a low level. Thus, the nanoparticle represents a highly efficacious agent for inhibiting cancer cells which overexpress HER2, but with low toxicity toward normal cells.