Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) are usually wrapped with biocompatible polymers in biomedical field, however, the effect of biocompatible polymers of gold nanoparticles on cellular responses are still not fully understood. In this study, GNPs with/without polymer wrapping were used as model probes for the investigation of cytotoxicity and cell cycle progression. Our results show that the bovine serum albumin (BSA) coated GNPs (BSA-GNPs) had been transported into lysosomes after endocytosis. The lysosomal accumulation had then led to increased binding between kinesin 5 and microtubules, enhanced microtubule stabilization, and eventually induced G2
/M arrest through the regulation of cadherin 1. In contrast, the bare GNPs experienced lysosomal escape, resulting in microtubule damage and G0
arrest through the regulation of proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Overall, our findings showed that both naked and BSA wrapped gold nanoparticles had cytotoxicity, however, they affected cell proliferation via different pathways. This will greatly help us to regulate cell responses for different biomedical applications.
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