Elucidation of structural and functional properties of albumin bound to gold nanoparticles

July 28, 2017


Elucidation of structural and functional properties of albumin bound to gold nanoparticles


Jessy Mariam, S. Sivakami, P.M. Dongre




Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics


Nanoparticle–albumin complexes are being designed for targeted drug delivery and imaging. However, the changes in the functional properties of albumin due to adsorption on nanoparticles remain elusive. Thus, the objective of this work was to elucidate the structural and functional properties of human and bovine serum albumin bound to negatively charged gold nanoparticles (GNPs). Fluorescence data demonstrated static quenching of albumin by GNP with the quenching of buried as well as surface tryptophan in BSA. The binding process was enthalpy and entropy-driven in HSA and BSA, respectively. At lower concentrations of GNP there was a higher affinity for tryptophan, whereas at higher concentrations both tryptophan and tyrosine participated in the interaction. Synchronous fluorescence spectra revealed that the microenvironment of tryptophan in HSA turned more hydrophilic upon exposure to GNP. The α-helical content of albumin was unaltered by GNP. Approximately 37 and 23% reduction in specific activity of HSA and BSA was observed due to GNP binding. In presence of warfarin and ibuprofen the binding constants of albumin–GNP complexes were altered. A very interesting observation not reported so far is the retained antioxidant activity of albumin in presence of GNP i.e. we believe that GNPs did not bind to the free sulfhydryl groups of albumin. However enhanced levels of copper binding were observed. We have also highlighted the differential response in albumin due to gold and silver nanoparticles which could be attributed to differences in the charge of the nanoparticle.




Circular dichroism, Nanostructures, Ligand binding, Secondary structure, Thermodynamics, Materials, Biochemistry