Enhancing Cell Nucleus Accumulation and DNA Cleavage Activity of Anti-Cancer Drug via Graphene Quantum Dots

Chong Wang, Congyu Wu, Xuejiao Zhou, Ting Han, Xiaozhen Xin, Jiaying Wu, Jingyan Zhang, Shouwu Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations

Abstract

Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) maintain the intrinsic layered structural motif of graphene but with smaller lateral size and abundant periphery carboxylic groups, and are more compatible with biological system, thus are promising nanomaterials for therapeutic applications. Here we show that GQDs have a superb ability in drug delivery and anti-cancer activity boost without any pre-modification due to their unique structural properties. They could efficiently deliver doxorubicin (DOX) to the nucleus through DOX/GQD conjugates, because the conjugates assume different cellular and nuclear internalization pathways comparing to free DOX. Also, the conjugates could enhance DNA cleavage activity of DOX markedly. This enhancement combining with efficient nuclear delivery improved cytotoxicity of DOX dramatically. Furthermore, the DOX/GQD conjugates could also increase the nuclear uptake and cytotoxicity of DOX to drug-resistant cancer cells indicating that the conjugates may be capable to increase chemotherapy efficacy of anti-cancer drugs that are suboptimal due to the drug resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2852
JournalScientific reports
Volume3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 14 2013
Externally publishedYes

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