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Bioimpacts. 2020;10(1):27-36. doi: 10.15171/bi.2020.04. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

PEGylated gold nanoparticles-ribonuclease induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells.

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Liver and Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Research Center for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology, Biomedicine Institute, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, 51656-65811, Iran.
Connective Tissue Diseases Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Organosilicon Research Laboratory, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.


Introduction: Currently, drug-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) mediating apoptosis pathway have extensively been investigated in designing effective strategies for colorectal cancer (CRC) chemotherapy. Bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A (RNase A) represents a new class of cytotoxic and non-mutagenic enzymes, and has gained more attention as a potential anticancer modality; however, the cytosolic ribonuclease inhibitors (RIs) restrict the clinical application of this enzyme. Nowadays, nanotechnology-based diagnostic and therapeutic systems have provided potential solutions for cancer treatments. Methods: In this study, the gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were synthesized, stabilized by polyethylene glycol (PEG), functionalized, and covalently conjugated with RNase A. The physicochemical properties of engineered nanobiomedicine (AuNPs-PEG-RNase A) were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and UV-vis spectrum. Then, its biological impacts including cell viability, apoptosis, and ROS production were evaluated in the SW-480 cells. Results: The engineered nanobiomedicine, AuNPs-PEG-RNase A, was found to effectively induce apoptosis in SW-480 cells and result in a significant reduction in cancer cell viability. Besides, the maximum production of ROS was obtained after the treatment of cells with an IC50 dose of AuNPs-PEG-RNase A. Conclusion: Based on the efficient ROS-responsiveness and the anticancer activity of RNase A of the engineered nanomedicine, this nanoscaled biologics may be considered as a potential candidate for the treatment of CRC.


Bovine pancreatic ribonuclease; Colorectal cancer; Gold nanoparticles; Nanomedicine; PEGylation; Reactive oxygen species

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