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Nano Lett. 2011 Nov 9;11(11):4985-91. doi: 10.1021/nl202940k. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

Soft interactions at nanoparticles alter protein function and conformation in a size dependent manner.

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Interdisciplinary NanoscienceCenter (iNANO), Aarhus University, 7400 Herning, Denmark.


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.

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