Author(s): Patra HK, Banerjee S, Chaudhuri U, Lahiri P, Dasgupta AK
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Abstract Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) are considered a potential probe to detect cancer. The present article investigates whether GNPs, even in the absence of any specific functionalization, induce any cell-specific response. We report GNP-induced death response in human carcinoma lung cell line A549. In contrast, the two other cell lines tested, BHK21 (baby hamster kidney) and HepG2 (human hepatocellular liver carcinoma), remained unaffected by GNP treatment. The specificity of the induction of the death response in A549 cells implies that GNPs do not universally target all cell types. Flow-cytometric studies indicated that the response was dose dependent and had a threshold effect (in A549). Gradual increase in GNP concentration induces a proportional cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. The programmed nature of the death response is implied, because such cleavage follows activation of caspases. Notably, at higher GNP concentration there was an asymmetric accumulation of GNPs in the periphery outside the cell nucleus of the A549 cells. This was confirmed by confocal microscopy, a green scattering (possibly, surface-enhanced Raman effect) appearing on selective z-slices of the image.
This article was published in Nanomedicine
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology