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Nano Lett. 2009 May;9(5):1798-805. doi: 10.1021/nl8037147.

Gastrin releasing protein receptor specific gold nanorods: breast and prostate tumor avid nanovectors for molecular imaging.

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Department of Radiology, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65212, USA.


Gastrin releasing protein receptor specific bombesin (BBN) peptide-gold nanoconjugates were successfully synthesized using gold nanorods and dithiolated peptide. The gold nanorod-bombesin (GNR-BBN) conjugates showed extraordinary in vitro stabilities against various biomolecules including NaCl, cysteine, histidine, bovine serum albumin, human serum albumin, and dithiothreitol. Quantitative measurements on the binding affinity (IC(50)) of GNR-BBN conjugates toward prostate and breast tumor cells were evaluated. The IC(50) values establish that GNR-BBN conjugates have strong affinity toward the gastrin releasing peptide receptors on both the tumors. Detailed cellular interaction studies of GNR-BBN conjugates revealed that nanorods internalize via a receptor-mediated endocytosis pathway. The receptor specific interactions of GNR-BBN conjugates provide realistic opportunities in the design and development of in vivo molecular imaging and therapy agents for cancer.

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