Author(s): Steponkiene S, Kavaliauskiene S, Purviniene R, Rotomskis R, Juzenas P
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Abstract BACKGROUND: In novel treatment approaches, therapeutics should be designed to target cancer stem cells (CSCs). Quantum dots (QDs) are a promising new tool in fighting against cancer. However, little is known about accumulation and cytotoxicity of QDs in CSCs. METHODS: Accumulation and cytotoxicity of CdTe-MPA (mercaptopropionic acid) QDs in CSCs were assessed using flow cytometry and fluorescence-activated cell sorting techniques as well as a colorimetric cell viability assay. RESULTS: We investigated the expression of two cell surface-associated glycoproteins, CD44 and CD133, in four different cancer cell lines (glioblastoma, melanoma, pancreatic, and prostate adenocarcinoma). Only the melanoma cells were positive to both markers of CD44 and CD133, whereas the other cells were only CD44-positive. The QDs accumulated to a similar extent in all subpopulations of the melanoma cells. The phenotypical response after QD treatment was compared with the response after ionizing radiation treatment. The percentage of the CD44(high-)CD133(high) subpopulation decreased from 72\% to 55\%-58\% for both treatments. The stem-like subpopulation CD44(high)CD133(low/-) increased from 26\%-28\% in the untreated melanoma cells to 36\%-40\% for both treatments. CONCLUSION: Treatment of melanoma cells with QDs results in an increase of stem-like cell subpopulations. The changes in phenotype distribution of the melanoma cells after the treatment with QDs are comparable with the changes after ionizing radiation.
This article was published in Int J Nanomedicine
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology