Differential Cytotoxic Potential of Silver Nanoparticles in Human Ovarian Cancer Cells and Ovarian Cancer Stem Cells

Yun-Jung Choi; Jung-Hyun Park; Jae Woong Han; Eunsu Kim; Oh Jae-Wook; Seung Yoon Lee; Jin-Hoi Kim; Gurunathan, Sangiliyandi
December 2016
International Journal of Molecular Sciences;Dec2016, Vol. 17 Issue 12, p2077
Academic Journal
The cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis postulates that cancer cells are composed of hierarchically-organized subpopulations of cells with distinct phenotypes and tumorigenic capacities. As a result, CSCs have been suggested as a source of disease recurrence. Recently, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been used as antimicrobial, disinfectant, and antitumor agents. However, there is no study reporting the effects of AgNPs on ovarian cancer stem cells (OvCSCs). In this study, we investigated the cytotoxic effects of AgNPs and their mechanism of causing cell death in A2780 (human ovarian cancer cells) and OvCSCs derived from A2780. In order to examine these effects, OvCSCs were isolated and characterized using positive CSC markers including aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) and CD133 by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). The anticancer properties of the AgNPs were evaluated by assessing cell viability, leakage of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and mitochondrial membrane potential (mt-MP). The inhibitory effect of AgNPs on the growth of ovarian cancer cells and OvCSCs was evaluated using a clonogenic assay. Following 1-2 weeks of incubation with the AgNPs, the numbers of A2780 (bulk cells) and ALDH+/CD133+ colonies were significantly reduced. The expression of apoptotic and anti-apoptotic genes was measured by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Our observations showed that treatment with AgNPs resulted in severe cytotoxicity in both ovarian cancer cells and OvCSCs. In particular, AgNPs showed significant cytotoxic potential in ALDH+/CD133+ subpopulations of cells compared with other subpopulation of cells and also human ovarian cancer cells (bulk cells). These findings suggest that AgNPs can be utilized in the development of novel nanotherapeutic molecules for the treatment of ovarian cancers by specific targeting of the ALDH+/CD133+ subpopulation of cells.


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