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Cellular Uptake and Transport of Zein Nanoparticles: Effects of Sodium Caseinate

Luo, Yangchao, Teng, Zi, Wang, Thomas T. Y., Wang, Qin
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2013 v.61 no.31 pp. 7621-7629
cell culture, culture media, cytotoxicity, fluorescence microscopy, human cell lines, nanoparticles, particle size, sodium azide, sodium caseinate, zein
Cellular evaluation of zein nanoparticles has not been studied systematically due to their poor redispersibility. Caseinate (CAS)-stabilized zein nanoparticles have been recently developed with better redispersibility in salt solutions. In this study, zein–CAS nanoparticles were prepared with different zein/CAS mass ratios. The prepared nanoparticles demonstrated good stabilities to maintain particle size (120–140 nm) in cell culture medium and HBSS buffer at 37 °C. The nanoparticles showed no cytotoxicity for Caco-2 cells for 72 h. CAS not only significantly enhanced cell uptake of zein nanoparticles in a concentration- and time-dependent manner but also remarkably improved epithelial transport through Caco-2 cell monolayer. The cell uptake of zein–CAS nanoparticles indicated an energy-dependent endocytosis process as evidenced by cell uptake under blocking conditions, that is, 4 °C, sodium azide, and colchicine. Fluorescent microscopy clearly showed the internalization of zein–CAS nanoparticles. This study may shed some light on the cellular evaluations of hydrophobic protein nanoparticles.