Interaction of proteins with nanoparticles

Advances in nanotechnologies have led to an important increase in using nanoparticles in different areas of industry, technology and medicine. Understanding the mechanisms by which these nanomaterials interact with molecules and cells is important for assessing their biological impact, both on organisms and environment. In this context, the study of the interaction with proteins is crucial because the protein corona around nanoparticle often changes the nanoparticle stability and size and determines its biological fate. In the past years, we characterized the interaction of model proteins with nanoparticles of different chemical nature, such as dendrimers and quantum dots, using spectroscopic techniques (fluorescence and phosphorescence). Currently we are trying to exploit the interaction of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with methionine-gamma-lyase (MGL), a pharmacologically active protein against cancer cells. We work with AuNPs both synthesized in our laboratory or already suitably functionalized by chemical providers. This research aims to obtain an active MGL-AuNP complex to be used for MGL delivery within cancer cells.

Patrizia Cioni
Mario D'acunto
Sabina Lucia