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Development of dihydrochalcone-functionalized gold nanoparticles for augmented antineoplastic activity

Authors Payne JN, Badwaik VD, Waghwani HK, Moolani HV, Tockstein S, Thompson DH, Dakshinamurthy R

Received 8 June 2017

Accepted for publication 19 July 2017

Published 28 March 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1917—1926


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster

Jason N Payne,1,2,* Vivek D Badwaik,3,* Hitesh K Waghwani,2,* Harsh V Moolani,2 Sarah Tockstein,2 David H Thompson,3 Rajalingam Dakshinamurthy1

1Department of Chemistry, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN, USA; 2Department of Chemistry, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, USA; 3Department of Chemistry, Multi-disciplinary Cancer Research Facility, Bindley Bioscience Center, West Lafayette, IN, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Phloridzin, an antidiabetic and antineoplastic agent usually found in fruit trees, is a dihydrochalcone constituent that has a clinical/pharmaceutical significance as a sodium-glucose linked transport 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor. While the aglycone metabolite of phloridzin, phloretin, displays a reduced capacity of SGLT2 inhibition, this nutraceutical displays enhanced antineoplastic activity in comparison to phloridzin.
Purpose: The objective of this study was to develop gold nanoparticle (AuNP) mediated delivery of phloridzin and phloretin and explore their anticancer mechanism through conjugation of the dihydrochalcones and the AuNP cores.
Methods: Phloridzin and phloretin conjugated AuNPs (Phl-AuNP and Pht-AuNP) were synthesized in single-step, rapid, biofriendly processes. The synthesized AuNPs morphology was characterized via transmission electron microscopy and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. The presence of phloridzin or phloretin was confirmed using scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. The percentage of organic component (phloridzin/phloretin) onto AuNPs surface was characterized using thermogravimetric analysis. Assessment of the antineoplastic potency of the dihydrochalcones conjugated AuNPs against cancerous cell lines (HeLa) was accomplished through monitoring via flow cytometry.
Results: The functionalized AuNPs were synthesized via a single-step method that relied only upon the redox potential of the conjugate itself and required no toxic chemicals. The synthesized Phl-AuNPs were found to be in the size range of 15±5 nm, whereas the Pht-AuNP were found to be 8±3 nm, placing both conjugated AuNPs well within the size range necessary for successful pharmaceutical applications. These assays demonstrate a significant increase in the cancerous cell toxicities as a result of the conjugation of the drugs to AuNPs, as indicated by the 17.45-fold increase in the efficacy of Pht-AuNPs over pure phloretin, and the 4.49-fold increase in efficacy of Phl-AuNP over pure phloridzin.
Conclusion: We report a simple, biofriendly process using the reducing and capping potential of the dihydrochalcones, phloridzin and phloretin, to synthesize stable AuNPs that have promising futures as potential antineoplastic agents.

Keywords: gold nanoparticles, cancer, phloretin, phloridzin

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