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Review
, 2013, 751913

Fullerenols as a New Therapeutic Approach in Nanomedicine

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Review

Fullerenols as a New Therapeutic Approach in Nanomedicine

Jacek Grebowski et al. Biomed Res Int.

Abstract

Recently, much attention has been paid to the bioactive properties of water-soluble fullerene derivatives: fullerenols, with emphasis on their pro- and antioxidative properties. Due to their hydrophilic properties and the ability to scavenge free radicals, fullerenols may, in the future, provide a serious alternative to the currently used pharmacological methods in chemotherapy, treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, and radiobiology. Some of the most widely used drugs in chemotherapy are anthracycline antibiotics. Anthracycline therapy, in spite of its effective antitumor activity, induces systemic oxidative stress, which interferes with the effectiveness of the treatment and results in serious side effects. Fullerenols may counteract the harmful effects of anthracyclines by scavenging free radicals and thereby improve the effects of chemotherapy. Additionally, due to the hollow spherical shape, fullerenols may be used as drug carriers. Moreover, because of the existence of the currently ineffective ways for neurodegenerative diseases treatment, alternative compounds, which could prevent the negative effects of oxidative stress in the brain, are still sought. In the search of alternative methods of treatment and diagnosis, today's science is increasingly reaching for tools in the field of nanomedicine, for example, fullerenes and their water-soluble derivatives, which is addressed in the present paper.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
The structure of fullerenol.
Figure 2
Figure 2
One-electron redox cycle of anthracyclines. One-electron addition to the quinone moiety in the ring of carbon atoms of DOX and other anthracyclines result in the formation of a semiquinone that quickly regenerates its parent quinone by reducing oxygen to reactive oxygen species (ROS) like O2 •− and H2O2. ROS generated in redox cycle of anthracyclines induce oxidative DNA damage.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Fullerenol interactions with the band 3 protein and the location of fullerenol in the lipid bilayer. Fullerenol C60(OH)36, by associating with band 3 protein, does not only prevent its degradation, but can also influence the binding sites of spectrin, band 4.1 and 4.2 proteins, or actin, leading to changes in the cytoskeleton affecting erythrocyte morphology (from [13] modified).

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