Correlating Corona Composition and Cell Uptake to Identify Proteins Affecting Nanoparticle Entry into Endothelial Cells

Aldy Aliyandi, Catharina Reker-Smit, Reinier Bron, Inge S Zuhorn*, Anna Salvati*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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The formation of the biomolecule corona on the surface of nanoparticles upon exposure to biological fluids critically influences nanocarrier performance in drug delivery. It has been shown that in some cases corona proteins can mediate specific nanoparticle interactions with cell receptors. Within this context, in order to identify corona proteins affecting nanoparticle uptake, in this work, correlation analysis is performed between the corona composition of a panel of silica nanoparticles of different sizes and surface functionalities and their uptake in four endothelial cell types derived from different organs. In this way, proteins that correlate with increased or decreased uptake were identified, and their effects were validated by studying the uptake of nanoparticles coated with a single protein corona and competition studies in brain and liver endothelium. The results showed that precoating nanoparticles with histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG) alone strongly decreased uptake in both liver and brain endothelium. Furthermore, our results suggested the involvement of the transferrin receptor in nanoparticle uptake in liver endothelium and redirection of the nanoparticles to other receptors with higher uptake efficiency when the transferrin receptor was blocked by free transferrin. These data suggested that changes in the cell microenvironment can also affect nanoparticle uptake and may lead to a different interaction site with nanoparticles, affecting their uptake efficiency. Overall, correlating the composition of the protein corona and nanoparticle uptake by cells allows for the identification of corona molecules that can be used to increase as well as to reduce nanoparticle uptake by cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5573–5584
Number of pages12
JournalACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering
Issue number12
Early online date11-Nov-2021
Publication statusPublished - 13-Dec-2021

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