Nanometallomics: an emerging field studying the biological effects of metal-related nanomaterials
Metallomics, focusing on the global and systematic understanding of the metal uptake, trafficking, role and excretion in biological systems, has attracted more and more attention. Metal-related nanomaterials, including metallic and metal-containing nanomaterials, have unique properties compared to their micro-scaled counterparts and therefore require special attention. The small size effect, surface effect, and quantum size effect directly influence the physicochemical properties of nanostructured materials and their fate and behavior in biota. However, to our knowledge, the metallomics itself did not touch this special category of materials yet. Therefore, the term “nanometallomics” is proposed and the systematic study on the absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion (ADME) behavior of metal-related nanomaterials in biological systems and their interactions with genes, proteins and other biomolecules will be reviewed. The ADME behavior of metal-related nanomaterials in the biological systems is influenced by their physicochemical properties, the exposure route, and the microenvironment of the deposition site. Nanomaterials may not only interact directly or indirectly with genes, proteins and other molecules to cause DNA damage, genotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and cytotoxicity, but also stimulate the immune responses, circumvent tumor resistance and inhibit tumor metastasis. Nanometallomics needs to be integrated with other omics sciences, such as genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, to explore the biomedical data and obtain the overall knowledge of underlying mechanisms, and therefore to improve the application performance and to reduce the potential risk of metal-related nanomaterials.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Fourth International Symposium on Metallomics, Oviedo, Spain