Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Synthesis of Gold Functionalised Nanoparticles with the Eranthis hyemalis Lectin and Preliminary Toxicological Studies on Caenorhabditis elegans

Version 1 : Received: 8 May 2018 / Approved: 9 May 2018 / Online: 9 May 2018 (08:11:49 CEST)

How to cite: Djafari, J.; McConnell, M.T.; Santos, H.M.; Capelo, J.L.; Bertolo, E.; Harvey, S.C.; Lodeiro, C.; Fernández-Lodeiro, J. Synthesis of Gold Functionalised Nanoparticles with the Eranthis hyemalis Lectin and Preliminary Toxicological Studies on Caenorhabditis elegans. Preprints 2018, 2018050141 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201805.0141.v1). Djafari, J.; McConnell, M.T.; Santos, H.M.; Capelo, J.L.; Bertolo, E.; Harvey, S.C.; Lodeiro, C.; Fernández-Lodeiro, J. Synthesis of Gold Functionalised Nanoparticles with the Eranthis hyemalis Lectin and Preliminary Toxicological Studies on Caenorhabditis elegans. Preprints 2018, 2018050141 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201805.0141.v1).

Abstract

The lectin found in the tubers of the Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) plant (EHL) is a Type II Ribosome Inactivating Protein (RIP); type II RIPs have shown anti-cancer properties, and have great potential as therapeutic agents. Similarly, colloidal gold nanoparticles are successfully used in biomedical applications as gold nanoparticles can be functionalised with ligands with high affinity and specificity for target cells to create therapeutic and imaging agents. Herein we present the synthesis and characterization of gold nanoparticles conjugated with EHL. The aim was to establish the viability of the conjugate and perform a set of initial assays to establish whether the biological effect of EHL is altered by the conjugation. The biological assays were performed in Caenorhabditis elegans, a free living nematode commonly used for toxicological studies; previous work from some of the authors using first life stage (L1) nematodes has shown that EHL has a strong biocidal effect on C. elegans. Gold nanoparticles functionalised with EHL (AuNPs@EHL) were successfully synthesised by bioconjugation with citrate gold nanoparticles (AuNPs@Citrate); the conjugates were analysed by UV-Vis spectroscopy, Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), Zeta Potential analysis and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Results indicate that an optimal functionalisation was achieved with the addition of 100 µL of EHL (concentration 1090 ± 40 µg/mL) over 5 mL of AuNPs (concentration [Au0] = 0.8 mM). Biological assays on the effect of AuNPs@EHL on C. elegans were performed, using first life stage (L1) and pre-adult stage (L4) nematodes. Citrate gold nanoparticles did not have any obvious effect on the nematodes. For L1 stage nematodes, the assays show that conjugation with gold nanoparticles reduced the biological effect of EHL on C. elegans. As lectin binding activity is essential for the natural protein to bind and allow entry to cells, conformational changes due to conjugation may have affected this binding affinity. For L4 stage nematodes, both EHL alone and AuNPs@EHL showed biological activity, and reproductive delays and reduced fecundity were observed in both cases. These assays indicate that EHL can be conjugated to gold nanoparticles and retain elements of biocidal activity.

Subject Areas

Caenorhabditis elegans; toxicity; gold nanoparticles; nanocomposites; Lectin Protein; ROS

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