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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Cetuximab-Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles on the Cytotoxicity and Phenotypic Evolution of Colorectal Cancer Cells

Department of Molecular Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Laura Fabri
Molecules 2021, 26(3), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26030567
Received: 18 December 2020 / Revised: 17 January 2021 / Accepted: 20 January 2021 / Published: 22 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Health and Medicine)
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is estimated to be overexpressed in 60~80% of colorectal cancer (CRC), which is associated with a poor prognosis. Anti-EGFR targeted monoclonal antibodies (cetuximab and panitumumab) have played an important role in the treatment of metastatic CRC. However, the therapeutic response of anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies is limited due to multiple resistance mechanisms. With the discovery of new functions for gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), we hypothesize that cetuximab-conjugated AuNPs (cetuximab-AuNPs) will not only improve the cytotoxicity for cancer cells, but also introduce expression change of the related biomarkers on cancer cell surface. In this contribution, we investigated the size-dependent cytotoxicity of cetuximab-AuNPs to CRC cell line (HT-29), while also monitored the expression of cell surface biomarkers in response to treatment with cetuximab and cetuximab-AuNPs. AuNPs with the size of 60 nm showed the highest impact for cell cytotoxicity, which was tested by cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay. Three cell surface biomarkers including epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM), and human epidermal growth factor receptor-3 (HER-3) were found to be expressed at higher heterogeneity when cetuximab was conjugated to AuNPs. Both surface-enhanced Raman scattering/spectroscopy (SERS) and flow cytometry demonstrated the correlation of cell surface biomarkers in response to the drug treatment. We thus believe this study provides powerful potential for drug-conjugated AuNPs to enhance cancer prognosis and therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: epidermal growth factor receptor; colorectal cancer; cetuximab; cytotoxicity; gold nanoparticles; surface-enhanced Raman scattering/spectroscopy; phenotypes epidermal growth factor receptor; colorectal cancer; cetuximab; cytotoxicity; gold nanoparticles; surface-enhanced Raman scattering/spectroscopy; phenotypes
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MDPI and ACS Style

El Hallal, R.; Lyu, N.; Wang, Y. Effect of Cetuximab-Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles on the Cytotoxicity and Phenotypic Evolution of Colorectal Cancer Cells. Molecules 2021, 26, 567. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26030567

AMA Style

El Hallal R, Lyu N, Wang Y. Effect of Cetuximab-Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles on the Cytotoxicity and Phenotypic Evolution of Colorectal Cancer Cells. Molecules. 2021; 26(3):567. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26030567

Chicago/Turabian Style

El Hallal, Ralph; Lyu, Nana; Wang, Yuling. 2021. "Effect of Cetuximab-Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles on the Cytotoxicity and Phenotypic Evolution of Colorectal Cancer Cells" Molecules 26, no. 3: 567. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26030567

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