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Short-Chain Alkanethiol Coating for Small-Size Gold Nanoparticles Supporting Protein Stability

DAME, Università di Udine, P.le Kolbe 4, 33100 Udine, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università di Trieste, 34128 Trieste, Italy
INBB—Viale Medaglie d’Oro 305, 00136 Roma, Italy
Dipartimento di Medicina Molecolare, Università di Pavia, Via Taramelli 3, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Division of Medicine, University College of London, London NW3 2PF, UK
DMIF, Università di Udine, Viale delle Scienze, 33100 Udine, Italy
Science and Math Division, New York University Abu Dhabi, P.O. Box 129188, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Magnetochemistry 2017, 3(4), 40;
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy)
PDF [3514 KB, uploaded 27 November 2017]


The application of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) is emerging in many fields, raising the need for a systematic investigation on their safety. In particular, for biomedical purposes, a relevant issue are certainly AuNP interactions with biomolecules, among which proteins are the most abundant ones. Elucidating the effects of those interactions on protein structure and on nanoparticle stability is a major task towards understanding their mechanisms at a molecular level. We investigated the interaction of the 3-mercaptopropionic acid coating of AuNPs (MPA-AuNPs) with β2-microglobulin (β2m), which is a paradigmatic amyloidogenic protein. To this aim, we prepared and characterized MPA-AuNPs with an average diameter of 3.6 nm and we employed NMR spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy to probe protein structure perturbations. We found that β2m interacts with MPA-AuNPs through a highly localized patch maintaining its overall native structure with minor conformational changes. The interaction causes the reversible precipitation of clusters that can be easily re-dispersed through brief sonication. View Full-Text
Keywords: amyloidogenic protein-nanoparticle systems; nanoparticle stability; protein unfolding amyloidogenic protein-nanoparticle systems; nanoparticle stability; protein unfolding

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Cantarutti, C.; Bertoncin, P.; Corazza, A.; Giorgetti, S.; Mangione, P.P.; Bellotti, V.; Fogolari, F.; Esposito, G. Short-Chain Alkanethiol Coating for Small-Size Gold Nanoparticles Supporting Protein Stability. Magnetochemistry 2017, 3, 40.

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