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Targeting nanomaterials to head and neck cancer cells using a fragment of the shiga toxin as a potent natural ligand

Abstract: Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) is the seventh most common cancer worldwide with a 5-year survival from diagnosis of 50%. Currently, HNC is diagnosed by a physical examination followed by an histological biopsy, with surgery being the primary treatment. Here, we propose the use of targeted nanotechnology in support of existing diagnostic and therapeutic tools to prevent recurrences of tumors with poorly defined or surgically inaccessible margins. We have designed an innocuous ligand-protein, based on the receptor-binding domain of the Shiga toxin (ShTxB), that specifically drives nanoparticles to HNC cells bearing the globotriaosylceramide receptor on their surfaces. Microscopy images show how, upon binding to the receptor, the ShTxB-coated nanoparticles cause the clustering of the globotriaosylceramide receptors, the protrusion of filopodia, and rippling of the membrane, ultimately allowing the penetration of the ShTxB nanoparticles directly into the cell cytoplasm, thus triggering a biomimetic cellular response indistinguishable from that triggered by the full-length Shiga toxin. This functionalization strategy is a clear example of how some toxin fragments can be used as natural biosensors for the detection of some localized cancers and to target nanomedicines to HNC lesions.

 Authorship: Navarro-palomares E., García-hevia L., Padín-gonzález E., Bañobre-lópez M., Villegas J.C., Valiente R., Fanarraga M.L.,

 Fuente: Cancers, 2021, 13(19), 4920

 Publisher: MDPI

 Year of publication: 2021

 No. of pages: 13

 Publication type: Article

 DOI: 10.3390/cancers13194920

 ISSN: 2072-6694

 Spanish project: MAT2016-81955-REDT

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