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Light-Responsive Size of Self-Assembled Spiropyran–Lysozyme Nanoparticles with Enzymatic Function

Moldenhauer, Daniel, Fuenzalida Werner, Juan Pablo, Strassert, Cristian A., Gröhn, Franziska
Biomacromolecules 2018 v.20 no.2 pp. 979-991
aqueous solutions, enzyme activity, irradiation, isomers, models, nanoparticles, proteins, thermodynamics, vaccines, water solubility
Novel light-responsive nanoassemblies with switchable size and enzymatic activity are built from a protein and a water-soluble spiropyran. Assemblies are created by electrostatic self-assembly in aqueous solution such that the photochromic property of the spiropyran enables light responsiveness. Upon visible light exposure, the aggregate size increases from 200 to 400 nm. The enzyme retains its activity upon aggregation into the assembly, while it decreases through visible light irradiation. Fundamentally, we show how the two different spiropyran isomers, the open-ring merocyanine form and the closed-ring spiropyran form, bind differently to the protein, which triggers the assembly size and use of thermodynamic data to understand the binding process and the size response. Thus, as a proof of concept, a self-assembly driven light-tunable enzyme activity in conjunction with a triggerable assembly size is demonstrated for a model system. The concept bears future potential for various possible biological applications ranging from genetic control over vaccine applications to the detection of certain proteins.