Galectin-1-based tumor-targeting for gold nanostructure-mediated photothermal therapy

by Jenkins, Samir V.; Nedosekin, Dmitry A.; Miller, Emily K.; Zharov, Vladimir P.; Dings, Ruud P. M.; Chen, Jingyi; Griffin, Robert J.


Purpose: To demonstrate delivery of Au nanocages to cells using the galectin-1 binding peptide anginex (Ax) and to demonstrate the value of this targeting for selective in vitro photothermal cell killing. Materials and methods: Au nanocages were synthesised, coated with polydopamine (PDA), and conjugated with Ax. Tumour and endothelial cell viability was measured with and without laser irradiation. Photoacoustic (PA) mapping and PA flow cytometry were used to confirm cell targeting in vitro and in tissue slices ex vivo. Results: Cell viability was maintained at >= 50% at 100 pM suggesting low toxicity of the nanocage alone. Combining the targeted construct (25 pM) with low power 808 nm laser irradiation for 10-20 min (a duration previously shown to induce rapid and sustained heating of Au nanocages [AuNC] in solution), resulted in over 50% killing of endothelial and tumour cells. In contrast, the untargeted construct combined with laser irradiation resulted in negligible cell killing. We estimate approximately 6 x 10(4) peptides were conjugated to each nanocage, which also resulted in inhibition of cell migration. Binding of the targeted nanocage reached a plateau after three hours, and cell association was 20-fold higher than non-targeted nanocages both in vitro and ex vivo on tumour tissue slices. A threefold increase in tumour accumulation was observed in preliminary in vivo studies. Conclusions: These studies demonstrate Ax's potential as an effective targeting agent for Au-based theranostics to tumour and endothelial cells, enabling photothermal killing. This platform further suggests potential for multimodal in vivo therapy via next-generation drug-loaded nanocages.

International Journal of Hyperthermia
Start Page