International journal of molecular sciences

Graphene Functionalized with Arginine Decreases the Development of Glioblastoma Multiforme Tumor in a Gene-Dependent Manner.

PMID 26512645


Our previous studies revealed that graphene had anticancer properties in experiments in vitro with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells and in tumors cultured in vivo. We hypothesized that the addition of arginine or proline to graphene solutions might counteract graphene agglomeration and increase the activity of graphene. Experiments were performed in vitro with GBM U87 cells and in vivo with GBM tumors cultured on chicken embryo chorioallantoic membranes. The measurements included cell morphology, mortality, viability, tumor morphology, histology, and gene expression. The cells and tumors were treated with reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and rGO functionalized with arginine (rGO + Arg) or proline (rGO + Pro). The results confirmed the anticancer effect of graphene on GBM cells and tumor tissue. After functionalization with amino acids, nanoparticles were distributed more specifically, and the flakes of graphene were less agglomerated. The molecule of rGO + Arg did not increase the expression of TP53 in comparison to rGO, but did not increase the expression of MDM2 or the MDM2/TP53 ratio in the tumor, suggesting that arginine may block MDM2 expression. The expression of NQO1, known to be a strong protector of p53 protein in tumor tissue, was greatly increased. The results indicate that the complex of rGO + Arg has potential in GBM therapy.