Chinese Academy of Sciences
A research group led by Professor LI Hongchang of the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has identified a new anticancer property of black phosphorus (BP) nanomaterials with a mitosis targeting mechanism.
Nanomaterials have shown great promise in the treatment of cancer. However, whether a certain nanomaterial can target a specific organelle or even a specific biomolecule to cause a specific cellular effect, as in the case of many commonly used small molecular drugs, remains largely unknown, preventing their inclusion in mainstream clinical applications.
In this study, researchers discovered a new nano-biological effect in which BP nanomaterials directly affect the heart of all mitotic life as well as the centrosome machinery of the cell cycle, and therefore hold cancer-fighting promise.
At the molecular level, they further identified the mitotic kinase PLK1 as a specific target of BP nanomaterials in cell cycle progression.
The study reveals a molecular mechanism of the tumoricidal properties of BP and proposes a direction for the biomedical application of nanomaterials by exploring their intrinsic bioactivities.
Based on this study, they proposed that each type of nanomaterial would have specific interactions with certain machines within the cell, meaning that nanomaterials can be applied for true nanomedicine development with their intrinsic nano-bio properties. .
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Guangdong Provincial Natural Science Foundation, and the Shenzhen Science and Technology Program.