NANO LETTERS, vol.15, no.1, pp.457-463, 2015 (SCI-Expanded)
The development of multidrug resistance (MDR) has become an increasingly serious problem in cancer therapy. The cell-membrane overexpression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), which can actively efflux various anticancer drugs from the cell, is a major mechanism of MDR. Nuclear-uptake nanodrug delivery systems, which enable intranuclear release of anticancer drugs, are expected to address this challenge by bypassing P-gp. However, before entering the nucleus, the nanocarrier must pass through the cell membrane, necessitating coordination between intracellular and intranuclear delivery. To accommodate this requirement, we have used DNA self-assembly to develop a nuclear-uptake nanodrug system carried by a cell-targeted near-infrared (NIR)-responsive nanotruck for drug-resistant cancer therapy. Via DNA hybridization, small drug-loaded gold nanoparticles (termed nanodrugs) can self-assemble onto the side face of a silvergold nanorod (NR, termed nanotruck) whose end faces were modified with a cell type-specific internalizing aptamer. By using this size-photocontrollable nanodrug delivery system, anticancer drugs can be efficiently accumulated in the nuclei to effectively kill the cancer cells.