Structure and Stability of Protein-Nanoparticle Complexes

L. Calzolai, S. Laera, G. Ceccone, F. Rossi
European Commission, IT

Keywords: protein, structure, nanoparticle, NMR


The behavior and toxicological properties of nanoparticles (NP) in biological medium depends heavily on their interactions with proteins. In return, the structure, stability and biological properties of the proteins that interact with the nanoparticles are strongly affected by this interaction. Unfortunately, the mechanisms of interaction and their structural consequences are very difficult to analyze. Here we show how biophysical techniques used in structural biology can be adapted to study the changes in structure and stability of proteins upon interaction with nanoparticles. By using synchrotron radiation circular dichroism spectroscopy it is possible to detect changes in the secondary structure and stability of proteins upon interaction with nanoparticles [1]. In some cases it is also possible to identify the protein-nanoparticle interaction domain by using high resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy