A new triple system DNA-Nanosilver-Berberine for cancer therapy

  • Anna GrebinykEmail author
  • Valeriy Yashchuk
  • Nataliya Bashmakova
  • Dmytro Gryn
  • Tobias Hagemann
  • Antonina Naumenko
  • Nataliya Kutsevol
  • Thomas Dandekar
  • Marcus Frohme
Original Article


The isoquinoline quaternary alkaloid Berberine possesses a variety of pharmacological properties that suggests its promising application for an anticancer delivery system design utilizing its ability to intercalate DNA. In the current work, we have investigated the effects of Berberine on the human T cell leukemia cell line in vitro. Fluorescent microscopy of leukemic cells revealed Berberine nuclear localization. The results showed that Berberine inhibited leukemic cell growth in a time- and dose-dependent manner, that was associated with reactive oxygen species production intensification and caspase 3/7 activity increase with followed apoptosis induction. Berberine was used as a toxic and phototoxic agent for triple system synthesis along with DNA as a carrier and nanosilver as a plasmonic accelerator of Berberine electronic transitions and high energy emission absorbent centers. The proposed method allows to obtain the complex of DNA with Berberine molecules and silver nanoparticles. The optical properties of free components as well as their various combinations, including the final triple system DNA-Nanosilver-Berberine, were investigated. Obtained results support the possibility to use the triple system DNA-Nanosilver-Berberine as an alternative therapeutic agent for cancer treatment.


Berberine Apoptosis Nanosilver DNA delivery system 



Authors are grateful to the German Academic Exchange Service for the support (scholarship 57129429, Anna Grebinyk).

Author contributions

The presented work was carried out in collaboration between all authors. YV, DT and FM coordinated the research work. GA estimated the leukemic cell viability, ROS production, Caspases 3/7 activity and Annexin staining, as well as performed the statistical analysis. HT performed fluorescent microscopy analysis. BN made spectral investigations of Berberine and Berberine-DNA system. GD performed spectral investigations of DNA-Nanosilver and DNA-Nanosilver-Berberine system. NA analyzed the spectral results. KN designed and synthesized the triple (DNA-Nanosilver-Berberine) system. GA and YV analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Open access

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technical University of Applied Sciences WildauWildauGermany
  2. 2.Taras Shevchenko National University of KyivKievUkraine
  3. 3.BiocenterUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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