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ACS Nano. 2014 Jan 28;8(1):503-13. doi: 10.1021/nn405019v. Epub 2014 Jan 3.

Impact of protein modification on the protein corona on nanoparticles and nanoparticle-cell interactions.

Author information

1
Institute of Applied Physics and Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) , 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany.

Abstract

Recent studies have firmly established that cellular uptake of nanoparticles is strongly affected by the presence and the physicochemical properties of a protein adsorption layer around these nanoparticles. Here, we have modified human serum albumin (HSA), a serum protein often used in model studies of protein adsorption onto nanoparticles, to alter its surface charge distribution and investigated the consequences for protein corona formation around small (radius ∼5 nm), dihydrolipoic acid-coated quantum dots (DHLA-QDs) by using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. HSA modified by succinic anhydride (HSAsuc) to generate additional carboxyl groups on the protein surface showed a 3-fold decreased binding affinity toward the nanoparticles. A 1000-fold enhanced affinity was observed for HSA modified by ethylenediamine (HSAam) to increase the number of amino functions on the protein surface. Remarkably, HSAsuc formed a much thicker protein adsorption layer (8.1 nm) than native HSA (3.3 nm), indicating that it binds in a distinctly different orientation on the nanoparticle, whereas the HSAam corona (4.6 nm) is only slightly thicker. Notably, protein binding to DHLA-QDs was found to be entirely reversible, independent of the modification. We have also measured the extent and kinetics of internalization of these nanoparticles without and with adsorbed native and modified HSA by HeLa cells. Pronounced variations were observed, indicating that even small physicochemical changes of the protein corona may affect biological responses.

PMID:
24377255
DOI:
10.1021/nn405019v
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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