onjugated gold nanorods induce radiosensitization in melanoma cancer cells by downregulating αvβ3 expression Original Research (3276) Total Article Views Authors: Xu WC, Luo T, Li P, Zhou CQ, Cui DX, Pang B, Ren QS, Fu S Published Date February 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 915 - 924 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S28314 Received: 16 November 2011 Accepted: 29 December 2011 Published: 27 February 2012 Wencai Xu1, Teng Luo2, Ping Li1, Chuanqing Zhou2, Daxiang Cui3, Bo Pang4, Qiushi Ren4, Shen Fu1 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital, 2School of Biomedical Engineering, and 3National Key Laboratory of Nano/Micro Fabrication Technology, Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication of Ministry of Education, Institute of Micro-Nano Science and Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, People's Republic of China Background: Melanoma is known to be radioresistant and traditional treatments have been intractable. Therefore, novel approaches are required to improve the therapeutic efficacy of melanoma treatment. In our study, gold nanorods conjugated with Arg-Gly-Asp peptides (RGD-GNRs) were used as a sensitizer to enhance the response of melanoma cells to 6 mV radiation. Methods and materials: A375 melanoma cells were treated by gold nanorods or RGD-GNRs with or without irradiation. The antiproliferative impact of the treatments was measured by MTT assay. Radiosensitizing effects were determined by colony formation assay. Apoptosis and cell cycle data were measured by flow cytometry. Integrin αvβ3expression was also investigated by flow cytometry. Results: Addition of RGD-GNRs enhanced the radiosensitivity of A375 cells with a dose-modifying factor of 1.35, and enhanced radiation-induced apoptosis. DNA flow cytometric analysis indicated that RGD-GNRs plus irradiation induced significant G2/M phase arrest in A375 cells. Both spontaneous and radiation-induced expressions of integrin αvβ3 were downregulated by RGD-GNRs. Conclusion: Our study indicated that RGD-GNRs could sensitize melanoma A375 cells to irradiation. It was hypothesized that this was mainly through downregulation of radiation-induced αvβ3, in addition to induction of a higher proportion of cells within the G2/M phase. The combination of RGD-GNRs and radiation needs further investigation.