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EGFR-targeted plasmonic magnetic nanoparticles suppress lung tumor growth by abrogating G2/M cell-cycle arrest and inducing DNA damage

Authors Kuroda S, Tam J, Roth J, Sokolov K, Ramesh R

Received 11 April 2014

Accepted for publication 8 May 2014

Published 8 August 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 3825—3839

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S65990

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Shinji Kuroda,1 Justina Tam,2 Jack A Roth,1 Konstantin Sokolov,2 Rajagopal Ramesh3–5

1Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 2Department of Imaging Physics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA; 3Department of Pathology, 4Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, 5Stephenson Cancer Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Background: We have previously demonstrated the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted hybrid plasmonic magnetic nanoparticles (225-NP) produce a therapeutic effect in human lung cancer cell lines in vitro. In the present study, we investigated the molecular mechanism of 225-NP-mediated antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo using the EGFR-mutant HCC827 cell line.
Methods: The growth inhibitory effect of 225-NP on lung tumor cells was determined by cell viability and cell-cycle analysis. Protein expression related to autophagy, apoptosis, and DNA-damage were determined by Western blotting and immunofluorescence. An in vivo efficacy study was conducted using a human lung tumor xenograft mouse model.
Results: The 225-NP treatment markedly reduced tumor cell viability at 72 hours compared with the cell viability in control treatment groups. Cell-cycle analysis showed the percentage of cells in the G2/M phase was reduced when treated with 225-NP, with a concomitant increase in the number of cells in Sub-G1 phase, indicative of cell death. Western blotting showed LC3B and PARP cleavage, indicating 225-NP-treatment activated both autophagy- and apoptosis-mediated cell death. The 225-NP strongly induced γH2AX and phosphorylated histone H3, markers indicative of DNA damage and mitosis, respectively. Additionally, significant γH2AX foci formation was observed in 225-NP-treated cells compared with control treatment groups, suggesting 225-NP induced cell death by triggering DNA damage. The 225-NP-mediated DNA damage involved abrogation of the G2/M checkpoint by inhibiting BRCA1, Chk1, and phospho-Cdc2/CDK1 protein expression. In vivo therapy studies showed 225-NP treatment reduced EGFR phosphorylation, increased γH2AX foci, and induced tumor cell apoptosis, resulting in suppression of tumor growth.
Conclusion: The 225-NP treatment induces DNA damage and abrogates G2/M phase of the cell cycle, leading to cellular apoptosis and suppression of lung tumor growth both in vitro and in vivo. Our findings provide a rationale for combining 225-NP with other DNA-damaging agents for achieving enhanced anticancer activity.

Keywords: lung cancer, epidermal growth factor receptor, autophagy

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