Synthesis and cell-selective antitumor properties of amino acid conjugated tumor-associated carbohydrate antigen-coated gold nanoparticles

Souvik Biswas, Scott H. Medina, Joseph J. Barchi

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20 Scopus citations


The Thomsen Friedenreich antigen (TFag) disaccharide is a tumor-associated carbohydrate antigen (TACA) found primarily on carcinoma cells and rarely expressed in normal tissue. The TFag has been shown to interact with Galectin-3 (Gal-3), one in a family of β-galactoside binding proteins. Galectins have a variety of cellular functions, and Gal-3 has been shown to be the sole galectin with anti-apoptotic activity. We have previously prepared gold nanoparticles (AuNP) coated with the TFag in various presentations as potential anti-adhesive therapeutic tools or antitumor vaccine platforms. Here we describe the synthesis of TFag-glycoamino acid conjugates attached to gold nanoparticles through a combined alkane/PEG linker, where the TFag was attached to either a serine or threonine amino acid. Particles were fully characterized by a host of biophysical techniques, and along with a control particle carrying hydroxyl-terminated linker units, were evaluated in both Gal-3 positive and negative cell lines. We show that the particles bearing the saccharides selectively inhibited tumor cell growth of the Gal-3 positive cells significantly more than the Gal-3 negative cells. In addition, the threonine-attached TF particles were more potent than the serine-attached constructs. These results support the use of AuNP as antitumor therapeutic platforms, targeted against cell lines that express specific lectins that interact with TFag.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalCarbohydrate Research
StatePublished - Mar 20 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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