Cancer cells threaten patient survival by their rapid, uncontrolled division. DNA is central to this, making it an attractive therapeutic target. However, the compaction of DNA-harboring chromatin into chromosomes needs to be overcome to increase therapeutic efficacy.
In their paper in Advanced Materials, Prof. M. Arturo López-Quintela and Prof. Fernando Domínguez from the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, and their co-workers describe Ag3 clusters that revert chromatin compaction and improve the therapeutic index of cancer chemotherapy.
Prof. M. Arturo López-Quintela: “Clusters of metal Ag atoms have totally different properties than bulk material and nanoparticles. We developed a new synthetic method to produce silver clusters of only three atoms and we produced enough amounts to explore their actions on chromatin.”
Prof. Fernando Domínguez: “Chromatin compaction isolates DNA from the interaction with other molecules. Ag3 clusters open chromatin to the binding of chemotherapeutic agents. In mice with lung tumors, co-administration of clusters with cisplatin increases the amount of cisplatin bound tumor DNA by five-fold and this greatly reduces the burden of the tumor in those mice.”