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Issue 36, 2018
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Wheat germ agglutinin modified magnetic iron oxide nanocomplex as a cell membrane specific receptor target material for killing breast cancer cells

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Abstract

Lectins are known for their specificity for carbohydrate binding. However, a few specific carbohydrate residues are over expressed in cancer cells, which may be an advantage for using a lectin that is specific to such residues. Herein, we report the strategic design of wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) and a fluorescent torch, FITC immobilized on Fe3O4 NPs as a cell membrane specific receptor target for breast cancer cells, viz., MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. The resultant nanocomplexes were well characterized by using microscopy and spectroscopy. The WGA tagged nanocomplex was further loaded with the anticancer drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) to selectively kill the cancer cells. The loading efficiency of 5-FU is ∼356 μg mg−1. The nanocomplex itself shows ∼90% cell viability for all the four cell lines (HEK, HeLa, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) studied and is therefore a suitable targeting drug delivery vehicle. However, the nanocomplex loaded with {WGA + 5-FU} shows a ∼1.5-fold decrease in cell viability in the case of specific cells (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) when compared to non-specific cells (HeLa and HEK). The internalization of the nanocomplex is supported by fluorescence microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy techniques by tracking with the fluorescent torch, FITC. The nanocomplex can be internalized ∼2 times more in the specific cells as compared to the non-specific cells. It is observed that the internalization is ∼2 fold increased when the MDA-MB-231 cells are exposed to a magnetic field for 24 h as compared to in the absence of a magnetic field. Live–dead cell assay of the 5-FU loaded nanocomplex was done by propidium iodide (PI) staining. There is an increase in the cell death by ∼2.5 fold when the cells are under a magnetic field as measured from the PI uptake. Such strategic designing of the nanocomplex can lead to the development of a better method to selectively target and kill the cancer cells by acting as a carrier to deliver a suitable drug, as a result of which the medical field can benefit.

Graphical abstract: Wheat germ agglutinin modified magnetic iron oxide nanocomplex as a cell membrane specific receptor target material for killing breast cancer cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 May 2018, accepted on 07 Aug 2018 and first published on 07 Aug 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TB01170B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2018,6, 5729-5737
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    Wheat germ agglutinin modified magnetic iron oxide nanocomplex as a cell membrane specific receptor target material for killing breast cancer cells

    A. Upadhyay, R. Kandi and C. P. Rao, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2018, 6, 5729
    DOI: 10.1039/C8TB01170B

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