Bioresponsive Antisense DNA Gold Nanobeacons as a Hybrid in Vivo Theranostics Platform for the Inhibition of Cancer Cells and Metastasis

Chenchen Bao, Institute of Micro and Nano Science and T, P.R. China
Joao Conde, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
James Curtin, Dublin Institute of Technology
Natalie Artzi, Massachusetts, USA
Furong Tian, Dublin Institute of Technology
Daxiang Cui, Institute of Micro and Nano Science and T, P.R. China

Document Type Article

Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 12297, 2015 doi:10.1038/srep12297


Gold nanobeacons can be used as a powerful tool for cancer theranostics. Here, we proposed a nanomaterial platform based on gold nanobeacons to detect, target and inhibit the expression of a mutant Kras gene in an in vivo murine gastric cancer model. The conjugation of fluorescently-labeled antisense DNA hairpin oligonucleotides to the surface of gold nanoparticles enables using their localized surface plasmon resonance properties to directly track the delivery to the primary gastric tumor and to lung metastatic sites. The fluorescently labeled nanobeacons reports on the interaction with the target as the fluorescent Cy3 signal is quenched by the gold nanoparticle and only emit light following conjugation to the Kras target owing to reorganization and opening of the nanobeacons, thus increasing the distance between the dye and the quencher. The systemic administration of the anti-Kras nanobeacons resulted in approximately 60% tumor size reduction and a 90% reduction in tumor vascularization. More important, the inhibition of the Kras gene expression in gastric tumors prevents the occurrence of metastasis to lung (80% reduction), increasing mice survival in more than 85%. Our developed platform can be easily adjusted to hybridize with any specific target and provide facile diagnosis and treatment for neoplastic diseases.