Sensitization of ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin by gold nanoparticles

Xunhao Xiong, Rochelle R. Arvizo R., Sounik Saha, David J. Robertson J., Scott McMeekin, Resham Bhattacharya, Priyabrata Mukherjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Recently we reported that gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) inhibit ovarian tumor growth and metastasis in mice by reversing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Since EMT is known to confer drug resistance to cancer cells, we wanted to investigate whether anti-EMT property of AuNP could be utilized to sensitize ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin. Herein, we report that AuNPs prevent cisplatin-induced acquired chemoresistance and stemness in ovarian cancer cells and sensitize them to cisplatin. AuNPs inhibit cisplatin induced EMT, decrease the side population cells and key stem cell markers such as ALDH1, CD44, CD133, Sox2, MDR1 and ABCG2 in ovarian cancer cells. Mechanistically, AuNPs prevent cisplatin-induced activation of Akt and NF-?B signaling axis in ovarian cancer cells that are critical for EMT, stem cell maintenance and drug resistance. In vivo, AuNPs sensitize orthotopically implanted ovarian tumor to a low dose of cisplatin and significantly inhibit tumor growth via facilitated delivery of both AuNP and cisplatin. These findings suggest that by depleting stem cell pools and inhibiting key molecular pathways gold nanoparticles sensitize ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin and may be used in combination to inhibit tumor growth and metastasis in ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6453-6465
Number of pages13
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2014


  • Cancer stem cell
  • Chemoresistance
  • EMT
  • Gold nanoparticle
  • NF-kB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Sensitization of ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin by gold nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this