Venturelli, 2016

2016 - Sci. Rep. 6, art. no. 21629 (2016).

Glucose is a key driver for GLUT1-mediated nanoparticles internalization in breast cancer cells

Venturelli L, Nappini S, Bulfoni M, Gianfranceschi G, Dal Zilio S, Coceano G, Del Ben F, Turetta M, Scoles G, Vaccari L, Cesselli D, Cojoc D.


The mesenchymal state in cancer is usually associated with poor prognosis due to the metastatic predisposition and the hyper-activated metabolism. Exploiting cell glucose metabolism we propose a new method to detect mesenchymal-like cancer cells. We demonstrate that the uptake of glucose-coated magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) by mesenchymal-like cells remains constant when the glucose in the medium is increased from low (5.5 mM) to high (25 mM) concentration, while the MNPs uptake by epithelial-like cells is significantly reduced. These findings reveal that the glucose-shell of MNPs plays a major role in recognition of cells with high-metabolic activity. By selectively blocking the glucose transporter 1 channels we showed its involvement in the internalization process of glucose-coated MNPs. Our results suggest that glucose-coated MNPs can be used for metabolic-based assays aimed at detecting cancer cells and that can be used to selectively target cancer cells taking advantage, for instance, of the magnetic-thermotherapy.


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