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Mapping Molecular Structure of Protein Locating on Nanoparticles with Limited Proteolysis

Duan, Yaokai, Liu, Yang, Coreas, Roxana, Zhong, Wenwan
Analytical chemistry 2019 v.91 no.6 pp. 4204-4212
adsorption, catalase, drugs, liquid chromatography, nanoparticles, peptides, polystyrenes, prediction, protein structure, proteolysis, tandem mass spectrometry, transferrin
The molecular structure of a protein could be altered when it is attached to nanoparticles (NPs), affecting the performance of NPs present in biological systems. Limited proteolysis coupled with LC-MS/MS could reveal the changes in protein structure when it binds to a variety of entities, including macro-molecules and small drugs, but it has not yet been applied to study protein–NP interaction. Herein, adsorption of proteins, transferrin, and catalase on the polystyrene (PS) or iron oxide (IO) NPs was analyzed with this method. Both increased and decreased proteolytic efficiency in certain regions on the proteins were observed. Identification of the peptides affected by protein–NP interaction led to proper prediction of alterations to protein function as well as to colloidal stability of NPs. Overall, the present work has demonstrated the utility of limited proteolysis in helping to elucidate the potential biological outcomes of the protein–NP conjugate, obtaining knowledge to guide improvement of the rational design of the protein-conjugated NPs for biomedical applications and to understand the biological behaviors of the engineered NPs.