Saposin C Coupled Lipid Nanovesicles Enable Cancer-Selective Optical and Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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Nanovesicles composed of the phospholipid dioleylphosphatidylserine (DOPS) and a fusogenic protein, saposin C (SapC), selectively target and induce apoptotic cell death in a variety of human cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. We tested whether such tumor-homing nanovesicles are capable of delivering fluorescent probes and magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agents to cancerous tissue to aid in earlier detection and improve visualization.
SapC–DOPS nanovesicles labeled with either a far-red fluorescent probe (CellVue® Maroon, CVM) or conjugated with a dextran coated MR contrast agent, ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO), were systemically administrated into xenografts for tumor detection using optical and MR imaging systems.
SapC–DOPS nanovesicles were effectively detected in vivo in tumor-bearing animals using both optical and MR imaging techniques, thereby demonstrating the cancer-selective properties of these nanovesicles.
SapC–DOPS nanovesicles offer promise as a new and robust theranostic agent for broad cancer-selective detection, visualization, and potential therapy.