Synthesis of DFO-Lys(PEG30k)-Cys(Cy3) to examine macropinocytosis in human and mouse cancers in vitro
Mentor: Georges El Fakhri, PhD (Massachusetts General Hospital)
The enhanced permeability and retention effect (EPR effect) is a phenomenon where nanoparticles and macromolecules collect in cancerous tissues. This results from characteristics (specifically hypervascularization and lack of lymphatic drainage) unique to cancer cells. Various macropinocytosis pathways are being investigated for the potential pharmacological benefit for specific drug targeting of these cells. A known nanoprobe, DFO-Lys(PEG30k)-Cys(Cy5.5) has been researched to show accumulation at tumor sites in vivo mouse models. DFO-Lys(PEG30k)-Cys(Cy5.5) consists of a Lys-Cys scaffold with an iron chelator deferoxamine and a Cy5.5 dye. An analog with a different fluorescent label (Cy3) was synthesized. Using the two probes, a wash-in wash-out experiment was performed and analyzed by flow cytometry to investigate the kinetics of the probe in human and mouse cancers in vitro.