Stabilization and delivery of bioavailable nanosized iron by fish sperm DNA†
Nanosized iron is a promising candidate as an iron fortificant due to its good solubility and bioavailability. Here, ferric hydrolysis in the presence of salmon/herring sperm DNA yielded irregularly shaped, highly negatively charged DNA-stabilized ferric oxyhydroxide nanoparticles (DNA-FeONPs) aggregated from 2–4 nm primary spherical monomers, in which phosphodioxy groups of the DNA backbone served as the iron-nucleation sites with high molecular weight (>500 bp), double-stranded winding, and acidic environmental pH disfavoring DNA's iron-loading capacity. The calcein fluorescence-quenching kinetics of polarized Caco-2 cells revealed the involvement of divalent transporter 1, macropinocytosis and nucleolin-mediated endocytosis in intestinal iron absorption from DNA-FeONPs with low molecular weight (<500 bp) favoring the performance of DNA in aiding iron absorption. In anemic rats, dietary DNA-FeONPs showed >80% relative iron bioavailability compared to FeSO4 as per hemoglobin regeneration efficiencies and delivered intestinally available nanosized iron, as determined by luminal iron speciation analysis. Overall, fish sperm DNA is promising in stabilizing and delivering bioavailable nanosized iron.