Back to Journals » International Journal of Nanomedicine » Volume 9 » Issue 1

Selective inhibition of liver cancer growth realized by the intrinsic toxicity of a quantum dot–lipid complex

Authors Shao D, Li J, Guan F, Pan Y, Xiao X, Zhang M, Zhang H, Chen L

Received 25 August 2014

Accepted for publication 4 October 2014

Published 8 December 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 5753—5769


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

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

Dan Shao,1,* Jing Li,1,* Fengying Guan,1 Yue Pan,1 Xuanang Xiao,1 Ming Zhang,1 Hong Zhang,2 Li Chen1,3

1Department of Pharmacology, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, People’s Republic of China; 2Van’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 3School of Nursing, Jilin University, Changchun, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Using the intrinsic toxicity of nanomaterials for anticancer therapy is an emerging concept. In this work, we discovered that CdTe/CdS quantum dots, when coated with lipids (QD-LC) instead of popular liposomes, polymers, or dendrimers, demonstrated extraordinarily high specificity for cancer cells, which was due to the difference in the macropinocytosis uptake pathways of QD-LC between the cancer cells and the normal cells. QD-LC-induced HepG2 cell apoptosis was concomitant with the activation of the JNK/caspase-3 signaling pathway. Moreover, QD-LC treatment resulted in a delay in the latent period for microtumor formation of mouse hepatocarcinoma H22 cells and inhibited tumor growth, with a reduction of 53.2% in tumor volume without toxicity in major organs after intratumoral administrations to tumor-bearing mice. Our results demonstrate that QD-LC could be a very promising theranostic agent against liver cancer.

Keywords: CdTe/CdS quantum dot–lipid complex, intrinsic nanotoxicity, selectivity, liver cancer therapy, macropinocytosis

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]