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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2011 Jan 15;250(2):184-93. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2010.10.012. Epub 2010 Oct 21.

Poly(ethylene glycol)-conjugated multi-walled carbon nanotubes as an efficient drug carrier for overcoming multidrug resistance.

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Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong.


The acquisition of multidrug resistance poses a serious problem in chemotherapy, and new types of transporters have been actively sought to overcome it. In the present study, poly(ethylene glycol)-conjugated (PEGylated) multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were prepared and explored as drug carrier to overcome multidrug resistance. The prepared PEGylated MWCNTs penetrated into mammalian cells without damage plasma membrane, and its accumulation did not affect cell proliferation and cell cycle distribution. More importantly, PEGylated MWCNTs accumulated in the multidrug-resistant cancer cells as efficient as in the sensitive cancer cells. Intracellular translocation of PEGylated MWCNTs was visualized in both multidrug-resistant HepG2-DR cells and sensitive HepG2 cells, as judged by both fluorescent and transmission electron microscopy. PEGylated MWCNTs targeted cancer cells efficiently and multidrug-resistant cells failed to remove the intracellular MWCNTs. However, if used in combination with drugs without conjugation, PEGylated MWCNTs prompted drug efflux in MDR cells by stimulating the ATPase activity of P-glycoprotein. This study suggests that PEGylated MWCNTs can be developed as an efficient drug carrier to conjugate drugs for overcoming multidrug resistance in cancer chemotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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