Protein corona composition of gold nanoparticles/nanorods affects amyloid beta fibrillation process†
Protein fibrillation process (e.g., from amyloid beta (Aβ) and α-synuclein) is the main cause of several catastrophic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases. During the past few decades, nanoparticles (NPs) were recognized as one of the most promising tools for inhibiting the progress of the disease by controlling the fibrillation kinetic process; for instance, gold NPs have a strong capability to inhibit Aβ fibrillations. It is now well understood that a layer of biomolecules would cover the surface of NPs (so called “protein corona”) upon the interaction of NPs with protein sources. Due to the fact that the biological species (e.g., cells and amyloidal proteins) “see” the protein corona coated NPs rather than the pristine coated particles, one should monitor the fibrillation process of amyloidal proteins in the presence of corona coated NPs (and not pristine coated ones). Therefore, the previously obtained data on NPs effects on the fibrillation process should be modified to achieve a more reliable and predictable in vivo results. Herein, we probed the effects of various gold NPs (with different sizes and shapes) on the fibrillation process of Aβ in the presence and absence of protein sources (i.e., serum and plasma). We found that the protein corona formed a shell at the surface of gold NPs, regardless of their size and shape, reducing the access of Aβ to the gold inhibitory surface and, therefore, affecting the rate of Aβ fibril formation. More specifically, the anti-fibrillation potencies of various corona coated gold NPs were strongly dependent on the protein source and their concentrations (10% serum/plasma (simulation of an in vitro milieu) and 100% serum/plasma (simulation of an in vivo milieu)).