We have demonstrated that designed ankyrin repeat protein (DARPin)_9-29, which specifically targets human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), binds tightly to gold mini nanorods (GNRs). Molecular dynamic simulations showed that a single layer of DARPin_9-29 molecules is formed on the surface of the nanorod and that conjugation with the nanorod does not involve the protein's domain responsible for specific binding to HER2. The nanorod-DARPin (DARPin-GNR) conjugate is specifically bound (in nanomolar concentrations) to human breast adenocarcinoma SK-BR-3 cells overexpressing HER2. Illumination by near-infrared light (850 nm) led to almost complete eradication of the conjugate-treated SK-BR-3 cells; the viability of epithelial human breast cancer cells expressing normal amounts of the receptor was much less affected by the illumination. The results reported here pave the way toward application of DARPin-GNR conjugates in phototherapy of cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)