Effect of Irradiation and Gold Nanoparticle on Expression Dynamics of Cell Surface Markers in MDA-MB 231 Breast Cancer Cells

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Cancer Res


Cell surface molecules expressed on cancer cells can be used as diagnostic and therapeutic tools. In breast cancer, CD44 and CD24 were identified as cell surface markers characterizing cancer cell stemness that may correlate with prognosis. Breast cancer cells with high CD44 and low CD24 expression have been shown to exhibit proliferative, invasive and metastatic properties that may relate to drug sensitivity and metastatic risk in patients. In addition to stemness, immune evasion is another hallmark of cancer with CD47 “don't eat me” and CD274 “don't find me” molecules playing important roles in antitumor immunity. Although each of these molecules are of interest as therapeutic targets, current therapeutic paradigms involve multimodal approach with radiation therapy often having a central role. Hence, the effect of irradiation, and related radiosensitizers, on the expression of cancer cells surface markers to be targeted with an adjuvant therapeutic mode must be considered when designing such therapies. The goal of this study was to determine the dynamics of CD44, CD24, CD47 and CD274 expression in radio-sensitized and irradiated MDA-MB 231 breast cancer cells. We have recently reported that gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) sensitized breast cancer cells to irradiation at kV and MV energies. Here, we hypothesize that AuNP may also modulate the irradiation altered expression of cell surface markers. We explored this by using 10 MV energies and 6 Gy radiation dose. MDA-MB-231 cells were incubated for 3 hours with 14nm AuNPs, irradiated and allowed to grow for 24h and 72h after which percenteges of positive cells were determined by flow cytometry. Results are expressed as a percent of control, non-irradiated cells that was set at 100%. At 24h non-irradiated cells pre-incubated with AuNP exhibited a decrease in the percentage of CD24+ and CD44+ cells, while no significant change in the percentage of CD47+ and CD274+ cells was observed. Irradiation with 6Gy at 10 MV induced a decrease in CD24+ and an increase in CD44+ cells and AuNP potentiated this effect. However, 72h post-irradiation, percentages of CD24+ and CD44+ cells significantly increased, compared to non-irradiated controls and this effect was of lesser magnitude in AuNP pretreated cells. Percentage of CD47+ and CD274+ cells also significantly increased 24h post-irradiation, but with less magnitude in AuNP treated cells. At 72h in AuNP treated irradiated cells no change was observed in the percentage of CD274+ cells, while the percentage of CD47+ cells significantly increased in comparison to the irradiated cells not exposed to AuNPs. Preliminary data shown here indicate that expression of molecules important for cancer progression, metastasis and immune evasion undergo changes in response to irradiation, and that these changes are affected by AuNPs. Further studies will shed more light on the mechanisms behind these observed effects.





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