Enzyme-Driven Release of Loads from Nucleic Acid–Capped Metal–Organic Framework Nanoparticles

Wei Hai Chen, Guo Feng Luo, Yang Sung Sohn, Rachel Nechushtai, Itamar Willner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Nucleic acid–modified UiO-68 metal–organic framework nanoparticles, NMOFs, are loaded with the anticancer drug camptothecin (or drug models), and the loaded NMOFs are capped with sequence-specific duplex units. The NMOFs are unlocked by the biocatalytic decomposition of the duplex capping units that result in the release of the drug (or drug models). The enzymes used are DNase I, a nicking enzyme (Nt.BbvCI), an endonuclease (EcoRI), and an exonuclease III (Exo III). Camptothecin-loaded NMOFs, capped by tailored hairpin nucleic acids being cooperatively unlocked by adenosine triphosphate (ATP), that is overexpressed in cancer cells, and Exo III are prepared. The camptothecin-loaded NMOFs reveal that selective cytotoxicity toward MDA-MB-231 cancer cells and ≈55% apoptosis of the cancer cells is observed after 5 days of treatment with the NMOFs, while only ≈15% apoptosis of epithelial MCF-10A breast cells is observed.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1805341
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • aptamer
  • cancer
  • drug release
  • endonuclease
  • exonuclease


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