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J Proteome Res. 2017 Nov 3;16(11):4020-4034. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.7b00412. Epub 2017 Oct 6.

Protein Corona Analysis of Silver Nanoparticles Links to Their Cellular Effects.

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BfR, German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment , Max-Dohrn-Str. 8-10, 10589 Berlin, Germany.
Technical University Berlin, ZE Electronmicroscopy , Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany.
BAM, German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing , Unter den Eichen 87, 12205 Berlin, Germany.
Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology , Robert-Roessle Str. 10, 13125 Berlin, Germany.


The breadth of applications of nanoparticles and the access to food-associated consumer products containing nanosized materials lead to oral human exposure to such particles. In biological fluids nanoparticles dynamically interact with biomolecules and form a protein corona. Knowledge about the protein corona is of great interest for understanding the molecular effects of particles as well as their fate inside the human body. We used a mass spectrometry-based toxicoproteomics approach to elucidate mechanisms of toxicity of silver nanoparticles and to comprehensively characterize the protein corona formed around silver nanoparticles in Caco-2 human intestinal epithelial cells. Results were compared with respect to the cellular function of proteins either affected by exposure to nanoparticles or present in the protein corona. A transcriptomic data set was included in the analyses in order to obtain a combined multiomics view of nanoparticle-affected cellular processes. A relationship between corona proteins and the proteomic or transcriptomic responses was revealed, showing that differentially regulated proteins or transcripts were engaged in the same cellular signaling pathways. Protein corona analyses of nanoparticles in cells might therefore help in obtaining information about the molecular consequences of nanoparticle treatment.


18O quantitative mass spectrometry; Caco-2 cells; protein corona; proteomics; silver nanoparticles NM-300; transcriptomics

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