Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids

Structure and Function of Adsorbed Hemoglobin on Silica Nanoparticles: Relationship between the Adsorption Process and the Oxygen Binding Properties.

PMID 28263607


The connection between the mechanisms of protein adsorption on nanoparticles and the structural and functional properties of the adsorbed protein often remains unclear. We investigate porcine hemoglobin adsorption on silica nanoparticles, and we analyze the structural and functional modifications of adsorbed hemoglobin by UV-vis spectrophotometry, circular dichroism, and oxygen binding measurement. The structural analysis of adsorbed hemoglobin on silica nanoparticles reveals a significant loss of secondary structure and a preservation of the heme electronic structure. However, adsorbed hemoglobin retains its quaternary structure and exhibits an enhanced oxygen affinity with cooperative binding. Moreover, the structural and functional modifications are fully reversible after complete desorption from silica nanoparticles at pH 8.7. The tunable adsorption and desorption of hemoglobin on SNPs with pH change, and the full control of hemoglobin activity by pH, temperature, and the addition of inorganic phosphate effectors opens the way to an interesting system whereby protein adsorption on nanoparticles can allow for full control over hemoglobin oxygen binding activity. Our results suggest that adsorption of hemoglobin on silica nanoparticles leads to a new structural, functional, and dynamic state with full reversibility in a way that significantly differs from protein denaturation.