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Different patterns of nuclear and mitochondrial penetration by the G3 PAMAM dendrimer and its biotin–pyridoxal bioconjugate BC-PAMAM in normal and cancer cells in vitro

Authors Uram Ł, Szuster M, Filipowicz A, Gargasz K, Wołowiec S, Wałajtys-Rode E

Received 24 April 2015

Accepted for publication 22 July 2015

Published 4 September 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 5647—5661

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S87307

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Govarthanan Muthusamy

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Carlos Rinaldi

Łukasz Uram,1 Magdalena Szuster,1 Aleksandra Filipowicz,2 Krzysztof Gargasz,3 Stanisław Wołowiec,3 Elżbieta Wałajtys-Rode4

1Bioorganic Chemistry Laboratory, Faculty of Chemistry, Rzeszow University of Technology, 2Cosmetology Department, University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszow, 3Institute of Nursery and Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rzeszow, Rzeszow, 4Department of Drug Technology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Chemistry, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland

Abstract: The intracellular localization and colocalization of a fluorescently labeled G3 amine-terminated cationic polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer and its biotin–pyridoxal (BC-PAMAM) bioconjugate were investigated in a concentration-dependent manner in normal human fibroblast (BJ) and squamous epithelial carcinoma (SCC-15) cell lines. After 24 hours treatment, both cell lines revealed different patterns of intracellular dendrimer accumulation depending on their cytotoxic effects. Cancer cells exhibited much higher (20-fold) tolerance for native PAMAM treatment than fibroblasts, whereas BC-PAMAM was significantly toxic only for fibroblasts at 50 µM concentration. Fibroblasts accumulated the native and bioconjugated dendrimers in a concentration-dependent manner at nontoxic range of concentration, with significantly lower bioconjugate loading. After reaching the cytotoxicity level, fluorescein isothiocyanate-PAMAM accumulation remains at high, comparable level. In cancer cells, native PAMAM loading at higher, but not cytotoxic concentrations, was kept at constant level with a sharp increase at toxic concentration. Mander’s coefficient calculated for fibroblasts and cancer cells confirmed more efficient native PAMAM penetration as compared to BC-PAMAM. Significant differences in nuclear dendrimer penetration were observed for both cell lines. In cancer cells, PAMAM signals amounted to ~25%–35% of the total nuclei area at all investigated concentrations, with lower level (15%–25%) observed for BC-PAMAM. In fibroblasts, the dendrimer nuclear signal amounted to 15% at nontoxic and up to 70% at toxic concentrations, whereas BC-PAMAM remained at a lower concentration-dependent level (0.3%–20%). Mitochondrial localization of PAMAM and BC-PAMAM revealed similar patterns in both cell lines, depending on the extracellular dendrimer concentration, and presented significantly lower signals from BC-PAMAM, which correlated well with the cytotoxicity.

Keywords: PAMAM G3 dendrimer, bioconjugate, normal and cancer cells, nuclei, mitochondria, confocal microscopy, colocalization

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