TOWARDS MECHANISMS OF NANOTOXICITY – INTERACTION OF GOLD NANOPARTICLES WITH PROTEINS AND DNA
Even though most of the existing studies of gold nanoparticles indicate that they are safe to use, some researchers show that specific forms of nanoparticles (e.g. nanorods) are able to destroy the cell membrane and very small nanoparticles (below 37 nm in diameter) in high concentration have been deadly for mice. We used the Amber12 package to perform a series of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of gold nanoparticles with various small proteins important for the human body and a DNA molecule to determine the interactions and consequently the possible toxicity of gold clusters. Lennard-Jones interactions were used to simulate the behavior of gold nanoparticles with biomacromolecules in water with an optimal set of parameters (selected based on a comparison of MD structures and structures computed by DFT). Gold nanoparticle structures were obtained as a result of MD simulations from an initial structure, where gold atoms were at a distance of 10˚A from one another. A predicted BDNA structure of a palindromic sequence ‘CGCATGAGTACGC’ and a 2JYK molecule were used as representatives of the DNA molecule. The preliminary results show that, in particular small gold nanoparticles, interact strongly with proteins and DNA by creating stable complexes, which can then cause harmful reactions to the human body when present in high concentration.
Keywords:gold nanoparticles, proteins, DNA, molecular dynamics
- Vol. 18 No. 4 (2014)
- Research article
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