Molecular beacon-decorated polymethylmethacrylate core-shell fluorescent nanoparticles for the detection of survivin mRNA in human cancer cells

Barbara Adinolfi, Mario Pellegrino, Ambra Giannetti, Sara Tombelli, Cosimo Trono, Giovanna Sotgiu, Greta Varchi, Marco Ballestri, Tamara Posati, Sara Carpi, Paola Nieri, Francesco Baldini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

One of the main goals of nanomedicine in cancer is the development of effective drug delivery systems, primarily nanoparticles. Survivin, an overexpressed anti-apoptotic protein in cancer, represents a pharmacological target for therapy and a Molecular Beacon (MB) specific for survivin mRNA is available. In this study, the ability of polymethylmethacrylate nanoparticles (PMMA-NPs) to promote survivin MB uptake in human A549 cells was investigated. Fluorescent and positively charged core PMMA-NPs of nearly 60 nm, obtained through an emulsion co-polymerization reaction, and the MB alone were evaluated in solution, for their analytical characterization; then, the MB specificity and functionality were verified after adsorption onto the PMMA-NPs. The carrier ability of PMMA-NPs in A549 was examined by confocal microscopy. With the optimized protocol, a hardly detectable fluorescent signal was obtained after incubation of the cells with the MB alone (fluorescent spots per cell of 1.90±0.40 with a mean area of 1.04±0.20 µm2), while bright fluorescent spots inside the cells were evident by using the MB loaded onto the PMMA-NPs. (27.50±2.30 fluorescent spots per cell with a mean area of 2.35±0.16 µm2). These results demonstrate the ability of the PMMA-NPs to promote the survivin-MB internalization, suggesting that this complex might represent a promising strategy for intracellular sensing and for the reduction of cancer cell proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Volume88
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2017

Keywords

  • A549 human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cells
  • Cellular up-take
  • Core-shell polymethylmethacrylate nanoparticles
  • Molecular beacon
  • Sensing in cell
  • Survivin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry

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