Magnetic Tandem Apoptosis for Overcoming Multidrug-Resistant Cancer

Mi Hyeon Cho, Seulmi Kim, Jae Hyun Lee, Tae Hyun Shin, Dongwon Yoo, Jinwoo Cheon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a leading cause of failure in current chemotherapy treatment and constitutes a formidable challenge in therapeutics. Here, we demonstrate that a nanoscale magnetic tandem apoptosis trigger (m-TAT), which consists of a magnetic nanoparticle and chemodrug (e.g., doxorubicin), can completely remove MDR cancer cells in both in vitro and in vivo systems. m-TAT simultaneously activates extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis signals in a synergistic fashion and downregulates the drug efflux pump (e.g., P-glycoprotein) which is one of the main causes of MDR. The tandem apoptosis strategy uses low level of chemodrug (in the nanomolar (nM) range) to eliminate MDR cancer cells. We further demonstrate that apoptosis of MDR cancer cells can be achieved in a spatially selective manner with single-cell level precision. Our study indicates that nanoscale tandem activation of convergent signaling pathways is a new platform concept to overcome MDR with high efficacy and specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7455-7460
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 14

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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