We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
Rectangle Image
News

Breakthrough Nanorod Tech Could Deliver Gene Therapy Directly to Cancer Cells

Rectangle Image
News

Breakthrough Nanorod Tech Could Deliver Gene Therapy Directly to Cancer Cells

Read time:
 

A new method efficiently transfers genes into cells, then activates them with light. This could lead to gene therapies for cancers


Mineko Kengaku, Tatsuya Murakami, and their colleagues from Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) have developed a new method that modifies the surface of nanorods, making them more efficient in transporting cancer-killing genes into cells.


The method involves coating gold nanorods, which produce heat when exposed to a near-infrared laser, with the lipids oleate and DOTAP. The lipids enhance the nanorods' ability to interact with and penetrate cells.


The team also developed a gene carrier, known as a plasmid vector, which includes a ‘heat shock protein’ that is activated in response to heat.


First, the vector was bound to the ‘enhanced green fluorescent protein’ (EGFP) gene, and then transferred into mammalian cells by the lipid-coated gold nanorods. Exposing cells to near-infrared laser for ten seconds heated up the gold nanorods, turning on the EGFP gene. Surrounding, non-targeted cells showed little to no EGFP expression.


A protein called TRAIL was then added to the plasmid vector. TRAIL induces cell death in cancer cell lines. Infrared illumination of cells transfected by TRAIL-carrying nanorods led to a high cell death rate in surrounding cancer cells.


The lipid-coated gold nanorods could potentially help with molecular cancer therapies.


This new system “provides a unique opportunity for site-directed, light-inducible transgene expression in mammalian cells by a near-infrared laser, with minimal phototoxicity,” conclude the researchers in their study published in the journal Scientific Reports.


This article has been republished from materials provided by Kyoto University. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.


Reference


Nakatsuji, H., Kawabata, G. K., Kurisu, J., Imahori, H., Murakami, T., & Kengaku, M. (2017). Surface chemistry for cytosolic gene delivery and photothermal transgene expression by gold nanorods. Scientific reports, 7(1), 4694.

Advertisement