Research Article


2012, 5(4): 223–234


Cellular Localization, Accumulation and Trafficking of Double-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Human Prostate Cancer Cells

Vera Neves1,2, Andreas Gerondopoulos1,, Elena Heister1,2, Carmen Tlmaciu3, Emmanuel Flahaut3, B. Soula3, S. Ravi P. Silva2, Johnjoe McFadden1, and Helen M. Coley1 ()

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1 Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford GU27XH, UK
2 Nanoelectronics Centre, Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey, Guildford GU27XH, UK
3 Université de Toulouse, UPS/INP/CNRS, Institut Carnot CIRIMAT, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse, Cedex 9, France
Present address: Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford OX13QU, UK

Keywords: Double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWNTs), intracellular localization, uptake, immunostaining, inhibition of endocytosis
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ABSTRACT Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are at present being considered as potential nanovectors with the ability to deliver therapeutic cargoes into living cells. Previous studies established the ability of CNTs to enter cells and their therapeutic utility, but an appreciation of global intracellular trafficking associated with their cellular distribution has yet to be described. Despite the many aspects of the uptake mechanism of CNTs being studied, only a few studies have investigated internalization and fate of CNTs inside cells in detail. In the present study, intracellular localization and trafficking of RNA-wrapped, oxidized double-walled CNTs (oxDWNT–RNA) is presented. Fixed cells, previously exposed to oxDWNT–RNA, were subjected to immunocytochemical analysis using antibodies specific to proteins implicated in endocytosis; moreover cell compartment markers and pharmacological inhibitory conditions were also employed in this study. Our results revealed that an endocytic pathway is involved in the internalization of oxDWNT–RNA. The nanotubes were found in clathrin-coated vesicles, after which they appear to be sorted in early endosomes, followed by vesicular maturation, become located in lysosomes. Furthermore, we observed co-localization of oxDWNT–RNA with the small GTP-binding protein (Rab 11), involved in their recycling back to the plasma membrane via endosomes from the trans-golgi network.
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Cellular Localization, Accumulation and Trafficking of Double-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Human Prostate Cancer Cells. Nano Res. 2012, 5(4): 223–234

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