Core-shell nanoparticles suppress metastasis and modify the tumour-supportive activity of cancer-associated fibroblasts

Dávid Kovács, Nóra Igaz, Annamária Marton, Andrea Rónavári, Péter Bélteky, L. Bodai, Gabriella Spengler, László Tiszlavicz, Zsolt Rázga, Péter Hegyi, C. Vízler, Imre M. Boros, Zoltán Kónya, Mónika Kiricsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Although accumulating evidence suggests that the crosstalk between malignant cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) actively contributes to tumour growth and metastatic dissemination, therapeutic strategies targeting tumour stroma are still not common in the clinical practice. Metal-based nanomaterials have been shown to exert excellent cytotoxic and anti-cancerous activities, however, their effects on the reactive stroma have never been investigated in details. Thus, using feasible in vitro and in vivo systems to model tumour microenvironment, we tested whether the presence of gold, silver or gold-core silver-shell nanoparticles exerts anti-tumour and metastasis suppressing activities by influencing the tumour-supporting activity of stromal fibroblasts. Results: We found that the presence of gold-core silver-shell hybrid nanomaterials in the tumour microenvironment attenuated the tumour cell-promoting behaviour of CAFs, and this phenomenon led to a prominent attenuation of metastatic dissemination in vivo as well. Mechanistically, transcriptome analysis on tumour-promoting CAFs revealed that silver-based nanomaterials trigger expressional changes in genes related to cancer invasion and tumour metastasis. Conclusions: Here we report that metal nanoparticles can influence the cancer-promoting activity of tumour stroma by affecting the gene expressional and secretory profiles of stromal fibroblasts and thereby altering their intrinsic crosstalk with malignant cells. This potential of metal nanomaterials should be exploited in multimodal treatment approaches and translated into improved therapeutic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 21 2020


  • Cancer-associated fibroblasts
  • Core-shell nanoparticles
  • Metastasis
  • RNA sequencing
  • Tumour stroma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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