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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dissociation-based screening of nanoparticle-protein interaction via flow field-flow fractionation

  • Author(s): Ashby, J
  • Schachermeyer, S
  • Pan, S
  • Zhong, W
  • et al.

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A protein corona will be formed on nanoparticles (NPs) entering a biological matrix, which can influence particles' subsequent behaviors inside the biological systems. For proteins bound stably to the NPs, they can exhibit different association/dissociation rates. The binding kinetics could affect interaction of the NPs with cell surface receptors and possibly contribute to the outcomes of NPs uptake. In the present study, a method to differentiate the corona proteins based on their relative dissociation rates from the NPs was developed, employing flow field-flow fraction (F4) in combination with centrifugation. The proteins bound to the superparamagnetic iron oxide NPs (SPION) present in an IgG/albumin depleted serum were isolated via collection of the SPIONs by either F4 or centrifugation. They were subsequently analyzed by LC-MS/MS and identified. Because the SPION-protein complexes injected to F4 dissociated continuously under the nonequilibrium separation condition, only the proteins with slow enough dissociation rates would be collected with the NPs in the eluent of F4. However, in centrifugation, proteins with good affinity to the SPIONs were collected regardless of the dissociation rates of the complexes. In both cases, the nonbinding ones were washed off. Capillary electrophoresis and circular dichroism were employed to verify the binding situations of a few SPION-protein interactions, confirming the effectiveness of our method. Our results support that our method can screen for proteins binding to NPs with fast on-and-off rates, which should be the ones quickly exchanging with the free matrix proteins when the NPs are exposed to a new biological media. Thus, our method will be useful for investigation of the temporal profile of protein corona and its evolution in biological matrices as well as for high-throughput analysis of the dynamic feature of protein corona related to particle properties. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

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