In vitro pro-apoptotic and anti-metastatic potentials of harmaline-silver containing folate-linked chitosan nano-drug delivery system

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran


Objective(s): Harmaline and green-synthesized silver nanoparticles were encapsulated by folate-linked chitosan molecules as a receptor-mediated drug delivery system to evaluate its pro-apoptotic and anti-metastatic potentials on human ovarian (A2780) and epithelioid (PANC) cancer cells.
Materials and Methods: The Ag nanoparticles (AgNP) were synthesized utilizing an herbal bio-platform (Bistorta officinalis) and embedded with harmalin. The Harmaline-ag containing folate-linked chitosan nanoparticles (HA-fCNP) were synthesized utilizing the ionic gelation method. Both the AgNP and HA-fCNP nanoparticles were characterized by DLS, FESEM, and Zeta potential analysis. Moreover, the chemical properties of HA-fCNP and the crystallinity of AgNPs were determined by applying FTIR and XRD methods, respectively. The HA-fCNP cytotoxicity was analyzed on A2780, PANC, and HFF cell lines. Moreover, pro-apoptotic and anti-metastatic potentials of HA-fCNP were studied by analyzing the BAX-BCL2 and MMP2-MMP9 gene expression profiles, respectively. The A2780 cellular death was determined by AO/PI and flow cytometry methods. 
Results: The HA-fCNP significantly exhibited a selective cytotoxic impact on A2780 and PANC cancerous cell lines compared with normal human foreskin fibroblast (HFF) cells. The increased SubG1-arrested A2780 cells and up-regulated BAX gene expression following the increased treatment concentrations of hA-fCNP indicated its selective pro-apoptotic activity on A2780 cells. Also, the notable down-regulated expressions of MMP2 and MMP9 metastatic genes following the increasing doses of HA-fCNP treatment on A2780 cells confirmed its anti-metastatic activity.
Conclusion: The cancer-selective cytotoxicity, apoptotic, and anti-metastatic properties of HA-fCNP are considered the appropriate properties of an anticancer compound. 


Main Subjects

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