Nanodiamonds (NDs) are a type of biocompatible nanomaterial with easily modified surfaces and are considered as promising candidates in biomedicine. In this work, the inhibition of tumor cell migration by carboxylated nanodiamonds (cNDs) was investigated. AFM-based single cell adhesion and F-actin staining experiments demonstrated that cNDs treatment could enhance cell adhesion and impair assembly of the cytoskeleton. The mechanism analysis of the regulatory protein expression level also proved that cNDs could inhibit the migration of Hela cells by preventing the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process through the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signaling pathway. The in vivo pulmonary metastasis model also showed that cNDs effectively reduced the metastasis of murine B16 melanoma cells. In summary, cNDs have been demonstrated to inhibit cancer cell migration in vitro and decrease tumor metastasis in vivo. Therefore, cNDs might have potential utility for specific cancer treatment.
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