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Cationic graphene oxide nanoplatform mediates miR-101 delivery to promote apoptosis by regulating autophagy and stress

Authors Assali A, Akhavan O, Mottaghitalab F, Adeli M, Dinarvand R, Razzazan S, Arefian E, Soleimani M, Atyabi F

Received 17 January 2018

Accepted for publication 22 May 2018

Published 1 October 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 5865—5886

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S162647

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Thiruganesh Ramasamy

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster


Akram Assali,1 Omid Akhavan,2 Fatemeh Mottaghitalab,1 Mohsen Adeli,3 Rassoul Dinarvand,1 Shayan Razzazan,4 Ehsan Arefian,5 Masoud Soleimani,6 Fatemeh Atyabi1

1Nanotechnology Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 2Department of Physics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran; 3Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Freie University Berlin, Berlin, Germany; 4Department of Electrical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran; 5Molecular Virology Lab, Department of Microbiology, School of Biology, College of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran; 6Hematology Department, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

Introduction: MicroRNA-101 (miR-101) is an intense cancer suppressor with special algorithm to target a wide range of pathways and genes which indicates the ability to regulate apoptosis, cellular stress, metastasis, autophagy, and tumor growth. Silencing of some genes such as Stathmin1 with miR-101 can be interpreted as apoptotic accelerator and autophagy suppressor. It is hypothesized that hybrid microRNA (miRNA) delivery structures based on cationized graphene oxide (GO) could take superiority of targeting and photothermal therapy to suppress the cancer cells.
Materials and methods: In this study, GO nanoplatforms were covalently decorated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and poly-L-arginine (P-L-Arg) that reduced the surface of GO and increased the near infrared absorption ~7.5-fold higher than nonreduced GO.
Results: The prepared nanoplatform [GO-PEG-(P-L-Arg)] showed higher miRNA payload and greater internalization and facilitated endosomal scape into the cytoplasm in comparison with GO-PEG. Furthermore, applying P-L-Arg, as a targeting agent, greatly improved the selective transfection of nanoplatform in cancer cells (MCF7, MDA-MB-231) in comparison with immortalized breast cells and fibroblast primary cells. Treating cancer cells with GO-PEG-(P-L-Arg)/miR-101 and incorporating near infrared laser irradiation induced 68% apoptosis and suppressed Stathmin1 protein.
Conclusion: The obtained results indicated that GO-PEG-(P-L-Arg) would be a suitable targeted delivery system of miR-101 transfection that could downregulate autophagy and conduct thermal stress to activate apoptotic cascades when combined with photothermal therapy.

Keywords: miR-101, cationized graphene oxide, poly-L-arginine, apoptosis, autophagy, photothermal therapy

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