Cyclic peptide-selenium nanoparticles as drug transporters

Amir Nasrolahi Shirazi, Rakesh K. Tiwari, Donghoon Oh, Brian Sullivan, Anil Kumar, Yousef A. Beni, Keykavous Parang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A cyclic peptide composed of five tryptophan, four arginine, and one cysteine [W5R4C] was synthesized. The peptide was evaluated for generating cyclic peptide-capped selenium nanoparticles (CP-SeNPs) in situ. A physical mixing of the cyclic peptide with SeO3-2 solution in water generated [W5R4C]-SeNPs via the combination of reducing and capping properties of amino acids in the peptide structure. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images showed that [W5R4C]-SeNPs were in the size range of 110-150 nm. Flow cytometry data revealed that a fluorescence-labeled phosphopeptide (F-PEpYLGLD, where F = fluorescein) and an anticancer drug (F-dasatinib) exhibited approximately 25- and 9-times higher cellular uptake in the presence of [W5R4C]-SeNPs than those of F-PEpYLGLD and dasatinib alone in human leukemia (CCRF-CEM) cells after 2 h of incubation, respectively. Confocal microscopy also exhibited higher cellular delivery of F-PEpYLGLD and F-dasatinib in the presence of [W5R4C]-SeNPs compared to the parent fluorescence-labeled drug alone in human ovarian adenocarcinoma (SK-OV-3) cells after 2 h of incubation at 37 °C. The antiproliferative activities of several anticancer drugs doxorubicin, gemcitabine, clofarabine, etoposide, camptothecin, irinotecan, epirubicin, fludarabine, dasatinib, and paclitaxel were improved in the presence of [W5R4C]-SeNPs (50 μM) by 38%, 49%, 36%, 36%, 31%, 30%, 30%, 28%, 24%, and 17%, respectively, after 48 h incubation in SK-OV-3 cells. The results indicate that CP-SeNPs can be potentially used as nanosized delivery tools for negatively charged biomolecules and anticancer drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3631-3641
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 6 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • antiproliferative
  • drug delivery
  • metal
  • nanoparticle
  • selenium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Medicine(all)


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