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Nanotechnology. 2010 Dec 10;21(49):495101. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/21/49/495101. Epub 2010 Nov 11.

C60(Nd) nanoparticles enhance chemotherapeutic susceptibility of cancer cells by modulation of autophagy.

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Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, People's Republic of China.


Autophagy, an evolutionally conserved intracellular process degrading cytoplasmic proteins and organelles for recycling, has become one of the most remarkable strategies applied in cancer research. The fullerene C60 nanoparticle (nC60) has been shown to induce autophagy and sensitize chemotherapeutic killing of cancer cells, but the details still remain unknown. Here we show that a water-dispersed nanoparticle solution of derivatized fullerene C60, C60(Nd) nanoparticles (nC60(Nd)), has greater potential in inducing autophagy and sensitizing chemotherapeutic killing of both normal and drug-resistant cancer cells than nC60 does in an autophagy-dependent fashion. Additionally we further demonstrated that autophagy induced by nC60/C60(Nd) and Rapamycin had completely different roles in cancer chemotherapy. Our results, for the first time, revealed a novel and more potent derivative of the C60 nanoparticle in enhancing the cytotoxicity of chemotherapeutic agents and reducing drug resistance through autophagy modulation, which may ultimately lead to novel therapeutic strategies in cancer therapy.

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