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Comparative assessment of the apoptotic potential of silver nanoparticles synthesized by Bacillus tequilensis and Calocybe indica in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells: targeting p53 for anticancer therapy

Authors Gurunathan S, Park JH, Han JW, Kim J

Received 4 March 2015

Accepted for publication 19 April 2015

Published 29 June 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 4203—4223


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Sangiliyandi Gurunathan, Jung Hyun Park, Jae Woong Han, Jin-Hoi Kim

Department of Animal Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Recently, the use of nanotechnology has been expanding very rapidly in diverse areas of research, such as consumer products, energy, materials, and medicine. This is especially true in the area of nanomedicine, due to physicochemical properties, such as mechanical, chemical, magnetic, optical, and electrical properties, compared with bulk materials. The first goal of this study was to produce silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using two different biological resources as reducing agents, Bacillus tequilensis and Calocybe indica. The second goal was to investigate the apoptotic potential of the as-prepared AgNPs in breast cancer cells. The final goal was to investigate the role of p53 in the cellular response elicited by AgNPs.
Methods: The synthesis and characterization of AgNPs were assessed by various analytical techniques, including ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The apoptotic efficiency of AgNPs was confirmed using a series of assays, including cell viability, leakage of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial membrane potential, and Western blot.
Results: The absorption spectrum of the yellow AgNPs showed the presence of nanoparticles. XRD and FTIR spectroscopy results confirmed the crystal structure and biomolecules involved in the synthesis of AgNPs. The AgNPs derived from bacteria and fungi showed distinguishable shapes, with an average size of 20 nm. Cell viability assays suggested a dose-dependent toxic effect of AgNPs, which was confirmed by leakage of LDH, activation of ROS, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Western blot analyses revealed that AgNPs induce cellular apoptosis via activation of p53, p-Erk1/2, and caspase-3 signaling, and downregulation of Bcl-2. Cells pretreated with pifithrin-alpha were protected from p53-mediated AgNPs-induced toxicity.
Conclusion: We have demonstrated a simple approach for the synthesis of AgNPs using the novel strains B. tequilensis and C. indica, as well as their mechanism of cell death in a p53-dependent manner in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. The present findings could provide insight for the future development of a suitable anticancer drug, which may lead to the development of novel nanotherapeutic molecules for the treatment of cancers.

apoptosis, UV-vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, ROS generation

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