DNA-Hybrid-Gated Photothermal Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles for NIR-Responsive and Aptamer-Targeted Drug Delivery

Yuanxin Zhang, Zhiyao Hou, Yakun Ge, Kerong Deng, Bei Liu, Xuejiao Li, Quanshun Li, Ziyong Cheng, Ping'an Ma, Chunxia Li, Jun Lin
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 September 23, 7 (37): 20696-706
Near-infrared light is an attractive stimulus due to its noninvasive and deep tissue penetration. Particularly, NIR light is utilized for cancer thermotherapy and on-demand release of drugs by the disruption of the delivery carriers. Here we have prepared a novel NIR-responsive DNA-hybrid-gated nanocarrier based on mesoporous silica-coated Cu1.8S nanoparticles. Cu1.8S nanoparticles, possessing high photothermal conversion efficiency under a 980 nm laser, were chosen as photothermal agents. The mesoporous silica structure could be used for drug storage/delivery and modified with aptamer-modified GC-rich DNA-helix as gatekeepers, drug vectors, and targeting ligand. Simultaneously, the as-produced photothermal effect caused denaturation of DNA double strands, which triggered the drug release of the DNA-helix-loaded hydrophilic drug doxorubicin and mesopore-loaded hydrophobic drug curcumin, resulting in a synergistic therapeutic effect. The Cu1.8S@mSiO2 nanocomposites endocytosed by cancer cells through the aptamer-mediated mode are able to generate rational release of doxorubicin/curcumin under NIR irradiation, strongly enhancing the synergistic growth-inhibitory effect of curcumin against doxorubicin in MCF-7 cells, which is associated with a strong mitochondrial-mediated cell apoptosis progression. The underlying mechanism of apoptosis showed a strong synergistic inhibitory effect both on the expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Mcl-1, and upregulated caspase 3/9 activity and on the expression level of Bak and Bax. Therefore, Cu1.8S@mSiO2 with efficient synergistic therapeutic efficiency is a potential multifunctional cancer therapy nanoplatform.

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