A Luminescent Amine-Functionalized Metal–Organic Framework Conjugated with Folic Acid as a Targeted Biocompatible pH-Responsive Nanocarrier for Apoptosis Induction in Breast Cancer Cells

Folic acid amine-functionalized metal–organic framework (FOLA@NH2-Eu:TMU-62) with luminescent properties loaded with 5-fluorouracil (5-Fu), as an anticancer medication, was used to construct a new cancer targeted drug delivery system in the present study. The 5-Fu release from this targeted carrier along with MTT assay and trypan blue dye exclusion test results also exhibited pH-controlled characteristics of the given carrier in acidic environments, which is very suitable for targeting solid tumors. Then, the inhibitory action of 5-Fu-loaded FOLA@NH2-Eu:TMU-62 for Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 (MCF7) cell migration was explored according to scratch wound healing assays. Based on the results, the FOLA@NH2-Eu:TMU-62 carrier was not toxic for MCF-10A normal cells, but it was significantly toxic for MCF-7 breast cancer ones, revealing that the FOLA@NH2-Eu:TMU-62 carrier could be utilized in accurate cancer treatments through apoptotic pathways with higher reactive oxygen species compared with 5-Fu alone. This cancer-targeted design of FOLA@NH2-Eu:TMU-62 could thus pave the way for synergistic effects of targeting as well as organized release capabilities.