We report use of PEG-DSPE coated oxidized graphene nanoribbons (O-GNR-PEG-DSPE) as agent for delivery of anti-tumor drug Lucanthone (Luc) into Glioblastoma Multiformae (GBM) cells targeting base excision repair enzyme APE-1 (Apurinic endonuclease-1). Lucanthone, an endonuclease inhibitor of APE-1, was loaded onto O-GNR-PEG-DSPEs using a simple non-covalent method. We found its uptake by GBM cell line U251 exceeding 67% and 60% in APE-1-overexpressing U251, post 24h. However, their uptake was ~38% and 29% by MCF-7 and rat glial progenitor cells (CG-4), respectively. TEM analysis of U251 showed large aggregates of O-GNR-PEG-DSPE in vesicles. Luc-O-GNR-PEG-DSPE was significantly toxic to U251 but showed little/no toxicity when exposed to MCF-7/CG-4 cells. This differential uptake effect can be exploited to use O-GNR-PEG-DSPEs as a vehicle for Luc delivery to GBM, while reducing nonspecific cytotoxicity to the surrounding healthy tissue. Cell death in U251 was necrotic, probably due to oxidative degradation of APE-1.
Keywords: Apurinic endonuclease-1; CG-4; GBM; Graphene nanoribbons; Lucanthone; Rat glial progenitor cells; Thioxanthenones.
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