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Paper

Blood-declustering excretable metal clusters assembled in DNA matrix
Author
Jaiwoo Lee, Quoc-Viet Le, Seungbeom Ko, Sungtaek Kang, Robert B. Macgregor Jr., Gayong Shim (*co-coressponding), Yu-Kyoung Oh
Journal
Biomaterials
Vol
289
Page
121754
Year
2022
We report polymeric DNA-supported gold clusters that achieve interparticle plasmon-coupling, generate immunotherapeutic effects at the tumor tissue, but decluster in the bloodstream. As immunostimulating DNA, we used polyCpG DNA, which could act as a supporting matrix for metal clusters, enabling the clusters to decluster in the bloodstream. We constructed polyCpG-supported gold nanoclusters (AuPCN). For comparison with AuPCN, monomer CpG-bound gold nanoparticles (AuMC) were used. Unlike AuMC, AuPCN showed an interparticle plasmon-coupling effect and a higher light-to heat conversion efficiency. In the serum, AuPCN declustered to subunits. The CT26 tumor rechallenge of mice pretreated with AuPCN(+NIR) was followed by 0% tumor recurrence and 100% survival for up to 80 days. Compared with other groups, AuPCN(+NIR)-treated mice revealed greater cytotoxic T cell-infiltration in distant tumors and higher memory T cells in the lymph nodes. Until 7 days post-dose, the urinary excretion of Au was observed in the AuPCN-treated group, but not in the Au nanoparticle-treated mice. Although we used gold clusters and concatemeric immunostimulatory CpG as components of AuPCN, the concept of declustering in the bloodstream can be applied to design other functional DNA scaffold-based metal clusters with reduced concerns for long-term retention in the body.