Analytical chemistry

Multifunctional aptamer-silver conjugates as theragnostic agents for specific cancer cell therapy and fluorescence-enhanced cell imaging.

PMID 25686206


We fabricated a multifunctional theragnostic agent Ag-Sgc8-FAM for apoptosis-based cancer therapy and fluorescence-enhanced cell imaging. For cancer therapy, aptamers Sgc8 and TDO5 acted as recognizing molecules to bind CCRF-CEM and Ramos cells specifically. It was found that aptamer-silver conjugates (Ag-Sgc8, Ag-TDO5) could be internalized into cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis, inducing specific apoptosis of CCRF-CEM and Ramos cells. The apoptosis of cells depended on the concentration of aptamer-silver conjugates, as well as the incubation time between cells and aptamer-silver conjugates. The apoptotic effects on CCRF-CEM and Ramos cells were different. Annexin V/PI staining, AO/PI staining, MTT assays and ROS (reactive oxygen species) detection demonstrated the specific apoptosis of CCRF-CEM and Ramos cells. For fluorescence-enhanced cell imaging, Ag-Sgc8-FAM was prepared. Compared to Sgc8-FAM molecules, Ag-Sgc8-FAM was an excellent imaging agent as numerous Sgc8-FAM molecules were enriched on the surface of AgNPs for multiple binding with CCRF-CEM cells and signal amplification. Moreover, AgNPs could increase the fluorescence intensity of FAM by metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF) effect. Therefore, aptamer-silver conjugates can be potential theragnostic agents for inducing specific apoptosis of cells and achieving cells imaging in real time.