Natural tripeptide capped pH-sensitive gold nanoparticles for efficacious doxorubicin delivery both in vitro and in vivo†
Nanobiotechnology has been gaining ever-increasing interest for the successful implementation of chemotherapy based treatment of cancer. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) capped with a natural pH-responsive short tripeptide (Lys-Phe-Gly or KFG) sequence are presented herein for significant intracellular delivery of an anti-cancer drug, doxorubicin (DOX). A particularly increased apoptotic response has been observed for DOX treatments mediated by KFG-AuNPs when compared with drug alone treatments in various cell lines (BT-474, HeLa, HEK 293 T and U251). Furthermore, KFG-AuNP mediated DOX treatment significantly decreases cell proliferation and tumor growth in a BT-474 cell xenograft model in nude mice. In addition, KFG-AuNPs demonstrate efficacious drug delivery in DOX-resistant HeLa cells (HeLa-DOXR).