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Publication from CBNI researchers featured in Nanowerk Spotlight - The protein corona of dendrimers: PAMAM binds and activates complement proteins in human plasma in a generation dependent manner

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Proteins interact with 'ultrasmall' nanomaterials in unique ways

(Nanowerk Spotlight) Proteins are one of the fundamental functional components of a biological system. They catalyze chemical reactions, participate in signaling between cells, and perform mechanical work. Most biological environments contain a diverse collection of proteins of varying concentration, composition, structure, and function.

When a nanomaterial enters a biological environment, it comes into immediate contact with a collection of proteins that is characteristic of that environment. If the nanomaterial possesses high surface energy, by being charged or hydrophobic for example, it will interact with a number of these proteins. Most protein-nanomaterial interactions lead to some alteration in protein structure, known as a conformational change. Conformational changes can activate or modulate enzymatic cascades and signaling pathways. They can also alter protein function or induce protein aggregation. The outcome of protein-nanomaterial interactions is an important determinant of the biological response to a nanomaterial.

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Proteins interact with 'ultrasmall' nanomaterials in unique ways