Klin Onkol 2019; 32(3): 197-200. DOI: 10.14735/amko2019197.

Background: Ferritin is a globular intracellular protein that acts as the main reservoir for iron. Malignancies are associated with increased plasma ferritin concentrations. A number of studies show that tumor cells express high levels of transferrin receptors (TfR). Increased TfR expression was observed in prostate carcinoma. Apoferritin (APO) can be used as a protein nanotransporter into which a suitable medicinal substance can be encapsulated. Nanoparticles increase the permeability of tumor cells to nanotransporters and have a photothermal effect. The aim of this study was to encapsulate doxorubicin (DOX) into APO and to modify the resulting APO/DOX with gold (AuNPs) and silver nanoparticles prepared by green synthesis (AgNPsGS). Methods: APO was characterized using 10% sodium dodecylsulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) – 120 V, 60 min, 24 mM Tris, 0.2 M glycine, 3 mM SDS. DOX fluorescence (Ex 480 nm; Em 650 nm) was observed, with a typical absorption maximum at 560 nm. Electrochemical measurement was performed in Brdicka solution (three-electrode setup). AgNPsGS were prepared by green synthesis using clover (Trifolium pratense L.). Results: An electrophoretic study of APO and APO/DOX (5–100 μg/mL) was performed and the behavior of APO and APO/DOX (10 μM) as a function of pH was monitored. In an acidic environment, APO forms subunits of about 20 kDa; in an alkaline medium, it forms a globular protein of about 450 kDa. A change in APO/DOX mobility (about by 10%) was observed. A film of gold nanoparticles was applied to the APO/DOX surface. APO/DOX-AuNPs were washed with ultra-pure water. pH-dependent release of DOX a was monitored. The amount of DOX analyzed was increased by up to 50%. Furthermore, an AgNPsGS-DOX complex (1 mg AgNPsGS/100 μM DOX) was generated and prepared. Subsequently, the AgNPsGS-DOX complex was encapsulated into APO. To further improve therapeutic efficacy, the APO/AgNPsGS-DOX complex was coated with an Au layer. APO/AgNPsGS-DOX/AuNPs were stable and DOX was released from the complex after physical parameters had changed. Conclusion: APO nanocomplexes were prepared and modified to increase therapeutic efficacy against tumors. Tumor cell targeting was achieved by binding to TfR and via increased tumor cell permeability and retention. Release of the drug was made possible due to a pH change and photothermal activation that will now be tested.


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