Toxicology letters

Changes in Caco-2 cells transcriptome profiles upon exposure to gold nanoparticles.

PMID 25523186


Higher efficacy and safety of nano gold therapeutics require examination of cellular responses to gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). In this work we compared cellular uptake, cytotoxicity and RNA expression patterns induced in Caco-2 cells exposed to AuNP (5 and 30nm). Cellular internalization was dose and time-dependent for both AuNPs. The toxicity was observed by colony forming efficiency (CFE) and not by Trypan blue assay, and exclusively for 5nm AuNPs, starting at the concentration of 200μM (24 and 72h of exposure). The most pronounced changes in gene expression (Agilent microarrays) were detected at 72h (300μM) of exposure to AuNPs (5nm). The biological processes affected by smaller AuNPs were: RNA/zinc ion/transition metal ion binding (decreased), cadmium/copper ion binding and glutathione metabolism (increased). Some Nrf2 responsive genes (several metallothioneins, HMOX, G6PD, OSGIN1 and GPX2) were highly up regulated. Members of the selenoproteins were also differentially expressed. Our findings indicate that exposure to high concentration of AuNPs (5nm) induces metal exposure, oxidative stress signaling pathways, and might influence selenium homeostasis. Some of detected cellular responses might be explored as potential enhancers of anti-cancer properties of AuNPs based nanomedicines.

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