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Receptor-Mediated Entry of Pristine Octahedral DNA Nanocages in Mammalian Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-05-23, 00:00 authored by Giulia Vindigni, Sofia Raniolo, Alessio Ottaviani, Mattia Falconi, Oskar Franch, Birgitta R. Knudsen, Alessandro Desideri, Silvia Biocca
DNA offers excellent programming properties for the generation of nanometer-scaled polyhedral structures with a broad variety of potential applications. Translation to biomedical applications requires improving stability in biological fluids, efficient and selective cell binding, and/or internalization of the assembled DNA nanostructures. Here, we report an investigation on the selective mechanism of cellular uptake of pristine DNA nanocages in cells expressing the receptor “oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1” (LOX-1), a scavenger receptor associated with cardiovascular diseases and, more recently, identified as a tumor marker. For this purpose a truncated octahedral DNA nanocage functionalized with a single biotin molecule, which allows DNA cage detection through the biotin–streptavidin assays, was constructed. The results indicate that DNA nanocages are stable in biological fluids, including human serum, and are selectively bound and very efficiently internalized in vesicles only in LOX-1-expressing cells. The amount of internalized cages is 30 times higher in LOX-1-expressing cells than in normal fibroblasts, indicating that the receptor-mediated uptake of pristine DNA nanocages can be pursued for a selective cellular internalization. These results open the route for a therapeutic use of pristine DNA cages targeting LOX-1-overexpressing tumor cells.