Resveratrol Carbon Dots Disrupt Mitochondrial Function in Cancer Cells

Shani Ben-Zichri, Sathish Rajendran, Susanta Kumar Bhunia, Raz Jelinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Resveratrol, a natural polyphenol, exhibits beneficial health properties and has been touted as a potential anti-tumor agent. Here, we demonstrate potent anti-cancer effects of carbon dots (C-dots) synthesized from resveratrol. The mild synthesis conditions retained resveratrol functional moieties upon the carbon dots' (C-dots) surface, an important requisite for achieving specificity toward cancer cells and biological activities. Indeed, the disruptive effects of the resveratrol-C-dot were more pronounced in several cancer cell types compared to normal cells, underscoring targeting capabilities of the C-dots, a pertinent issue for the development of cancer therapeutics. In particular, we observed impairment of mitochondrial functionalities, including intracellular calcium release, inhibition of cytochrome-C oxidase enzyme activity, and mitochondrial membrane perturbation. Furthermore, the resveratrol C-dots were more potent than either resveratrol molecules alone, known anti-cancer polyphenolic agents such as curcumin and triphenylphosphonium, or C-dots prepared from different carbonaceous precursors. This study suggests that resveratrol-synthesized C-dots may have promising therapeutic potential as anti-cancer agents.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1663-1671
Number of pages9
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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