Chemical characterization (LC–MS–ESI), cytotoxic activity and intracellular localization of PAMAM G4 in leukemia cells

R. Flores-Mejía, M. J. Fragoso-Vázquez, L. G. Pérez-Blas, A. Parra-Barrera, S. S. Hernández-Castro, A. R. Estrada-Pérez, J. Rodrígues, E. Lara-Padilla, A. Ortiz-Morales, J. Correa-Basurto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Generation 4 of polyamidoamine dendrimer (G4-PAMAM) has several biological effects due to its tridimensional globular structure, repetitive branched amides, tertiary amines, and amino-terminal subunit groups liked to a common core. G4-PAMAM is cytotoxic due to its positive charges. However, its cytotoxicity could increase in cancer cells due to the excessive intracellular negative charges in these cells. Furthermore, this work reports G4-PAMAM chemical structural characterization using UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS (LC–MS) by electrospray ionization to measure its population according to its positive charges. Additionally, the antiproliferative effects and intracellular localization were explored in the HMC-1 and K-562 cell lines by confocal microscopy. The LC–MS results show that G4-PAMAM generated multivalent mass spectrum values, and its protonated terminal amino groups produced numerous positive charges, which allowed us to determine its exact mass despite having a high molecular weight. Additionally, G4-PAMAM showed antiproliferative activity in the HMC-1 tumor cell line after 24 h (IC50 = 16.97 µM), 48 h (IC50 = 7.02 µM) and 72 h (IC50 = 5.98 µM) and in the K-562 cell line after 24 h (IC50 = 15.14 µM), 48 h (IC50 = 14.18 µM) and 72 h (IC50 = 9.91 µM). Finally, our results showed that the G4-PAMAM dendrimers were located in the cytoplasm and nucleus in both tumor cell lines studied.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8210
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

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