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Graphene quantum dots as autophagy-inducing photodynamic agents
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The excellent photoluminescent properties of graphene quantum dots (GQD) makes them suitable candidates for biomedical applications, but their cytotoxicity has not been extensively studied. Here we show that electrochemically produced GQD irradiated with blue light (470 nm, 1 W) generate reactive oxygen species, including singlet oxygen, and kill U251 human glioma cells by causing oxidative stress. The cell death induced by photoexcited GQD displayed morphological and/or biochemical characteristics of both apoptosis (phosphatidylserine externalization, caspase activation, DNA fragmentation) and autophagy (formation of autophagic vesicles, LC3-I/LC3-II conversion, degradation of autophagic target p62). Moreover, a genetic inactivation of autophagy-essential LC3B protein partly abrogated the photodynamic cytotoxicity of GQD. These data indicate potential usefulness of GQD in photodynamic therapy, but also raise concerns about their possible toxicity.
In this study, the effects of electrochemically produced graphene quantum dots (GQD), when irradiated with blue light, on generation of reactive oxygen species, including singlet oxygen, and the impact on U251 human glioma cells under oxidative stress were investigated.
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Biomaterials, 33(29): 7084-7092 (October 2012)
Markovic ZM, Ristic BZ, Arsikin KM, Klisic DG, Harhaji-Trajkovic LM, Todorovic-Markovic BM, Kepic DP, Kravic-Stevovic TK, Jovanovic SP, Milenkovic MM, Milivojevic DD, Bumbasirevic VZ, Dramicanin MD, Trajkovic VS
Last updated on October 24, 2012
This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.
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