The Russian journal Rossiiskie Nanotekhnologii [Nanotechnologies in Russia] has accepted for publication a review on the interaction of nanoparticles with proteins and peptides

June 24 the journal Rossiiskie Nanotekhnologii (also published in English under the title Nanotechnologies in Russia) has accepted the review Interactions of Proteins and Peptides with Nanoparticles: Structural and Functional Issues by Konstantin Rumyantsev, Anton Shemetov, and Alyona Sukhanova of the Nanomedicine Group of LNBE and Prof. Igor Nabiev, the leading scientist.

The increasingly wide use of nanoparticles in diagnostics and treatment (e.g., as components of diagnostic nanoprobes developed in the Nanomedicine Group) raises the issue of their behavior in the human body. Indeed, nanoparticles are small enough to enter almost all compartments of the body, including cells and organelles. There the particles may, in addition to serving their main function (doing what they have been administered for), interact with various biomolecules. It is necessary to have a clear idea of the probability of this "unintended" interaction and its possible consequences and to know its mechanisms in order to control it.

Interaction of naonaparticles with proteins, which are involved in all vital activities, is of primary interest. Having analyzed a lot of literature (more than 180 sources), the authors have compiled perhaps the most detailed and systematic summary of the data on the interactions of various nanosized objects with proteins and peptides. For the readers' convenience, the authors present all these data in a table format.

In brief, the literature data can be summarized as follows. In some cases, interaction of nanoscale objects with proteins leads to abnormal conformational changes leading to exposure of cryptic peptide epitopes or the appearance of abnormal functions caused by structural modifications. The high local protein concentration resulting from protein adsorption on nanoparticles may provoke avidity effects arising from close spatial arrangement of the protein molecules. The interaction of nanoparticles with proteins may induce cooperative effects, e.g., promoting or inhibiting the formation of protein fibrils or facilitating the self-assembling of nanoparticles on macromolecules.

Regarding the mechanisms of these interactions, the review details the characteristics of nanoparticle surface (including hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity, electric charge, and surface curvature) in terms of their interaction with proteins.

For obvious reasons, the possible toxic effects of nanoparticles deserve special attention. In this regard, of interest are the data that nanoparticles induce or facilitate the formation of amyloid-like structures similar to those typical of neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer's disease).

This review is expected to be useful for those who are interested in the biological and medical applications of nanoparticles and nanotechnologies.

© 2012 Laboratory of Nano-BioEngineering