Nanocomplex of berberine with c60 fullerene is a potent suppressor of lewis lung carcinoma cells invasion in vitro and metastatic activity in vivo

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Iryna Horak - , NASU - Palladin Institute of Biochemistry (Author)
  • Svitlana Prylutska - , National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine (Author)
  • Iryna Krysiuk - , NASU - Palladin Institute of Biochemistry (Author)
  • Serhii Luhovskyi - , NAMS - Chebotarev Institute of Gerontology (Author)
  • Oleksii Hrabovsky - , NASU - Palladin Institute of Biochemistry (Author)
  • Nina Tverdokhleb - , Chair of Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (Author)
  • Daria Franskevych - , Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University (Author)
  • Dmytro Rumiantsev - , NASU - Institute of Physics (Author)
  • Anton Senenko - , NASU - Institute of Physics (Author)
  • Maxim Evstigneev - , Belgorod State University (Author)
  • Liudmyla Drobot - , NASU - Palladin Institute of Biochemistry (Author)
  • Olga Matyshevska - , NASU - Palladin Institute of Biochemistry (Author)
  • Uwe Ritter - , Ilmenau University of Technology (Author)
  • Jacek Piosik - , Medical University of Gdańsk (Author)
  • Yuriy Prylutskyy - , Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University (Author)


Effective targeting of metastasis is considered the main problem in cancer therapy. The development of herbal alkaloid Berberine (Ber)-based anticancer drugs is limited due to Ber’ low effective concentration, poor membrane permeability, and short plasma half-life. To overcome these limitations, we used Ber noncovalently bound to C60 fullerene (C60 ). The complexation between C60 and Ber molecules was evidenced with computer simulation. The aim of the present study was to estimate the effect of the free Ber and C60-Ber nanocomplex in a low Ber equivalent concentration on Lewis lung carcinoma cells (LLC) invasion potential, expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers in vitro, and the ability of cancer cells to form distant lung metastases in vivo in a mice model of LLC. It was shown that in contrast to free Ber its nanocomplex with C60 demonstrated significantly higher efficiency to suppress invasion potential, to downregulate the level of EMT-inducing transcription factors SNAI1, ZEB1, and TWIST1, to unblock expression of epithelial marker E-cadherin, and to repress cancer stem cells-like markers. More importantly, a relatively low dose of C60-Ber nanocomplex was able to suppress lung metastasis in vivo. These findings indicated that сomplexation of natural alkaloid Ber with C60 can be used as an additional therapeutic strategy against aggressive lung cancer.


Original languageEnglish
Article number6114
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-2335-0260/work/142246483


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Berberine, C fullerene, Lewis lung carcinoma, Lung cancer cells, Metastasis in vivo, Nanocomplex