Calcitriol conjugated quantum dots, an innovative tool as both probe and treatment

Schaefer, Rachel
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Delaware
Calcitriol is an essential Vitamin that has been extensively studied due to its potential role as therapeutic for many diseases, including breast cancer. Previous research has indicated that Calcitriol has a negative effect against the metastasizing ability of Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) cells. Calcitriol bound QDs are a novel probe that can be used to examine the distribution of Calcitriol in vitro and in vivo. They were used to examine Calcitriol’s mode of entry into these cells. Their use as a probe has been achieved by examining the uptake of Calcitriol bound QDs into IBC cells, which decreases when either caveolae or clathrin mediated endocytosis is disrupted. The probe was also used to examine colocalization, which was found between caveolae and CalQDs, but not between clathrin and CalQDs. This indicated that while clathrin mediated endocytosis is necessary for Calcitriol to have a normal level of uptake, Calcitriol enters IBC cells via caveolae and not clathrin coated pits. CalQDs were also used for the formation of an in vivo probe that may target CalQDs to IBC cells in order to enhance Calcitriol’s potential ability to work as a therapeutic. CalQDs were directly targeted to IBC cells by conjugating the SM3 clone of Mucin-1 antibodies with Calcitriol bound QDs. In this study, Calcitriol bound QDs were used as both a probe and to create a potential therapeutic that could be explored for use against IBC metastasis.