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Ablation of Breast Cancer Cells Using Trastuzumab-Functionalized Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes and Trastuzumab-Diphtheria Toxin Conjugate



Trastuzumab (Herceptin®) is a monoclonal antibody (mAb) for specific ablation of HER2-overexpressing malignant breast cancer cells. Intensification of antiproliferative activity of trastuzumab through construction of immunotoxins and nano-immunoconjugates is a promising approach for treatment of cancer. In this study, trastuzumab was directly conjugated to diphtheria toxin (DT). Also, conjugates of trastuzumab and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) were constructed by covalent immobilization of trastuzumab onto MWCNTs. Then, antiproliferative activity of the fusion constructs against HER2-overexpressing SK-BR-3 and also HER2-negative MCF-7 cancer cell lines were examined. Cells treated with trastuzumab-MWCNT conjugates were irradiated with near-infrared (NIR) light. Efficient absorption of NIR radiation and its conversion to heat by MWCNTs can be resulted to thermal ablation of cancerous cells. Our results strongly showed that both trastuzumab-MWCNT and trastuzumab-DT conjugates were significantly efficient in the specific killing of SK-BR-3 cells. Targeting of MWCNTs to cancerous cells using trastuzumab followed by exposure of cells to NIR radiation was more efficient in repression of cell proliferation than treatment for cancer cells with trastuzumab-DT. Our results also showed that conjugation linkers can significantly affect the cytotoxicity of MWCNT-immunoconjugates. In conclusion, our data demonstrated that trastuzumab-MWCNT is a promising nano-immunoconjugate for killing of HER2-overexpressing cancerous cells.