Claudin 4-targeted nanographene phototherapy using a Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin peptidephotosensitizer conjugate
In this study we designed a claudin 4-directed dual photodynamic and photothermal system, in which a 30-amino acid claudin 4-binding peptide, Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE), was linked to a photodynamic agent chlorin e6 (Ce6) through a polyethylene glycol spacer (CPC) and anchored onto reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanosheets to form CPC/rGO nanosheets. For comparison, a conjugate of polyethylene glycol and Ce6 (PC) was anchored onto the rGO nanosheets to generate PC/rGO. Both PC and CPC generated reactive oxygen species upon irradiation at 660 nm. Application of CPC/rGO to claudin 4-overexpressing U87 glioblastoma cells in vitro resulted in a significantly higher cellular uptake compared to application of PC/rGO. Upon irradiation at 660 and 808 nm, the CPC/rGO-treated U87 cells generated significantly higher reactive oxygen species and caused significantly higher temperature increase, and showed most potent anticancer effect compared to the other groups. Taken together, these results suggest that CPC/rGO is potentially useful as a tumor-specific combined phototherapy.