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Stemmed DNA nanostructure for the selective delivery of therapeutics
Hyerim Jin, Mi-Gyeong Kim, Seungbeom Ko, Do-Hee Kim, Bong-Jin Lee, Robert B. Macgregor Jr., Gayong Shim (*co-corresponding), Yu-Kyoung Oh
Nanoscale (SCIE)
10 (16)
DNA has emerged as a biocompatible biomaterial that may be considered for various applications. Here, we report tumor cell-specific aptamer-modified DNA nanostructures for the specific recognition and delivery of therapeutic chemicals to cancer cells. Protein tyrosine kinase (PTK)7-specific DNA aptamer sequences were linked to 15 consecutive guanines. The resulting aptamer-modified product, AptG15, self-assembled into a Y-shaped structure. The presence of a G-quadruplex at AptG15 was confirmed by circular dichroism and Raman spectroscopy. The utility of AptG15 as a nanocarrier of therapeutics was tested by loading the photosensitizer, methylene blue (MB), to the G-quadruplex as a model drug. The generated MB-loaded AptG15 (MB/AptG15) showed specific and enhanced uptake to CCRF-CEM cells, which overexpress PTK7, compared with Ramos cells, which lack PTK7, or CCRF-CEM cells treated with a PTK7-specific siRNA. The therapeutic activity of MB/AptG15 was tested by triggering its photodynamic effects. Upon 660 nm light irradiation, MB/AptG15 showed greater reactive oxygen species generation and anticancer activity in PTK7-overexpressing cells compared to cells treated with MB alone, those treated with AptG15, and other comparison groups. AptG15 stemmed DNA nanostructures have significant potential for the cell-type-specific delivery of therapeutics, and possibly for the molecular imaging of target cells.