ACS nano

Protein coronas on gold nanorods passivated with amphiphilic ligands affect cytotoxicity and cellular response to penicillin/streptomycin.

PMID 24758495


We probe how amphiphilic ligands (ALs) of four different types affect the formation of protein coronas on gold nanorods (NRs) and their impact on cellular response. NRs coated with cetyltrimethylammonium bromide were ligand exchanged with polyoxyethylene[10]cetyl ether, oligofectamine, and phosphatidylserine (PS). Protein coronas from equine serum (ES) were formed on these NR-ALs, and their colloidal stability, as well as cell uptake, proliferation, oxidative stress, and gene expression, were examined. We find that the protein corona that forms and its colloidal stability are affected by AL type and that the cellular response to these NR-AL-coronas (NR-AL-ES) is both ligand and corona dependent. We also find that the presence of common cell culture supplement penicillin/streptomycin can impact the colloidal stability and cellular response of NR-AL and NR-AL-ES, showing that the cell response is not necessarily inert to pen/strep when in the presence of nanoparticles. Although the protein corona is what the cells see, the underlying surface ligands evidently play an important role in shaping and defining the physical characteristics of the corona, which ultimately impacts the cellular response. Further, the results of this study suggest that the cellular behavior toward NR-AL is mediated by not only the type of AL and the protein corona it forms but also its resulting colloidal stability and interaction with cell culture supplements.