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ZrMOF nanoparticles as quenchers to conjugate DNA aptamers for target-induced bioimaging and photodynamic therapy.

  • Author(s): Liu, Yuan;
  • Hou, Weijia;
  • Xia, Lian;
  • Cui, Cheng;
  • Wan, Shuo;
  • Jiang, Ying;
  • Yang, Yu;
  • Wu, Qiong;
  • Qiu, Liping;
  • Tan, Weihong
  • et al.

Porphyrinic metal-organic framework (MOF) nanoparticles for photodynamic therapy solve the photosensitizer problems of poor solubility, self-quenching and aggregation. However, their low selectivity towards malignant tissues is an obstacle for bioimaging and a bottle-neck to cellular uptake for highly efficient photodynamic therapy of cancer. Here, ZrMOF nanoparticles as quenchers to conjugate DNA aptamers were developed for target-induced bioimaging and photodynamic therapy. A phosphate-terminal aptamer prepared by solid-phase DNA synthesis was anchored on the surface of ZrMOF nanoparticles through strong coordination between phosphate and zirconium. Based on π-π stacking-induced quenching of TAMRA by ZrMOF nanoparticles, target-induced imaging is achieved due to the structural change of the aptamer upon binding with the target. Aptamer-conjugated ZrMOF nanoparticles with target binding ability significantly enhanced the photodynamic therapy effect. Furthermore, phosphate-terminal aptamer conjugation method can be generalized to other types of MOF nanomaterials, such as UiO-66 and HfMOF nanoparticles, which can be potentially used in biochemistry.

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