Carbon nanoparticles induce DNA repair and PARP inhibitor resistance associated with nanozyme activity in cancer cells

Haiyan Fan, Qinglei Sun, Kanat Dukenbayev, Enrico Benassi, Limara Manarbek, Ayan A. Nurkesh, Medina Khamijan, Chenglin Mu, Guoliang Li, Madina Razbekova, Zhenbang Chen, Amr Amin, Yingqiu Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Quantum nanodots especially carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) have been widely studied in biomedicine in imaging, and drug delivery, but anti-cancer mechanisms remain elusive. Methods: Here, we investigated a type of cell death induced by food (beet, soybean) derived CNPs in cancer cells and tested whether CNPs induced DNA damage and resistant to anti-cancer agent PARP inhibitor (PARPi) could be overcome by quantum calculations, TEM, AFM, FT-IR, soft agar assay, and cytotoxicity assay. Results: At high doses, CNPs derived from beet lead to a pop-like apoptosis (Carbopoptosis) in cancer cells. Quantum mechanical calculations confirmed CNPs binding with phosphate groups as well as DNA bases. At low doses, CNPs develop PARPi drug resistance through interactions between CNPs and PARPi. A synergistic drug effect was achieved with the combination of phosphatase inhibitor (PPi), PARPi, and CNPs. This is corroborated by the fact that sulfur modulated CNPs which exhibit super high phosphatase nanozyme activity abrogated the CNPs induced colony formation in anchorage-independent cancer cell growth. Conclusion: Thus, our data suggest the CNPs intrinsic nanozyme activity of phosphatase may crosstalk with drug resistance, which can be reversed upon modulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalCancer Nanotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Carbon nanoparticles
  • Carbopoptosis
  • Drug resistance
  • PARP inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Oncology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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