Soft interactions at nanoparticles alter protein function and conformation in a size dependent manner.
ABSTRACT Weak protein-nanoparticle (NP) interactions are studied in a low binding regime as a model for the soft protein corona around nanoparticles in complex biological fluids. Noncovalent, reversible interactions between Subtilisin Carlsberg (SC) and silica NPs shows significant alteration in conformation and enzymatic activity in a NP-size dependent manner. Very weak interactions between SC and silica NPs were revealed by centrifugation-based separations and further supported by small-angle X-ray scattering, while bovine serum albumin was used as a strongly interacting reference. Secondary and tertiary structure changes of SC were studied via circular dichroism and correlated to enzymatic activity where the enzyme kinetics showed a critical role for nanoparticle size.
Article: Ultrasmall Fluorescent Silver Nanoclusters: Protein Adsorption and Its Effects on Cellular Responses[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Ultrasmall silver nanoclusters (AgNCs) are a novel type of fluorescent nanoprobes that have aroused a great deal of interest in recent years. In view of many promising applications in biological research, it is of great importance to explore their behavior in the complex biological environment. In this study, interactions of AgNCs with a model protein, human serum albumin (HSA), have been systematically investigated by using a variety of techniques including absorption spectroscopy, steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence, as well as circular dichroism spectroscopy. The results show that the physicochemical properties of both proteins and AgNCs undergo changes upon their interactions; however, it appears that the overall conformation of HSA remains essentially unaffected in the complex. Binding of HSA to AgNCs was assessed by measuring tryptophan fluorescence quenching of HSA by AgNCs. Furthermore, biological implications of protein adsorption were quantitatively explored by evaluating responses of HeLa cells to AgNC exposure through live-cell fluorescence microscopy and a cytotoxicity test, revealing that protein adsorption has a significant effect on the biological response to AgNC exposure.Nano Research 08/2012; 2012(5):531-542. · 6.97 Impact Factor