Effect of Protein Corona on Mitochondrial Targeting Ability and Cytotoxicity of Triphenylphosphonium Conjugated with Polyglycerol-Functionalized Nanodiamond

Yajuan Zou, Masahiro Nishikawa, Heon Gyu Kang, Guoqing Cheng, Wei Wang, Yuquan Wang, Naoki Komatsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Functionalization of nanoparticles (NPs) with targeting moieties has a high potential to advance precision nanomedicine. However, the targeting moieties on a NP surface are known to be masked by a protein corona in biofluids, lowering the targeting efficiency. Although it has been demonstrated at the cellular level, little is known about the influence of the protein corona on the subcellular targeting. Herein, we adopted triphenylphosphonium (TPP) as a mitochondrial targeting moiety and investigated the effects of protein coronas from fetal bovine serum and human plasma on its targeting ability and cytotoxicity. Specifically, we introduced TPP in low (l) and high (h) densities on the surface of nanodiamond (ND) functionalized with polyglycerol (PG). Despite the “corona-free” PG interface, we found that the TPP moiety attracted proteins to form a corona layer with clear linearity between the TPP density and the protein amount. By performing investigations on human cervix epithelium (HeLa) and human lung epithelial carcinoma (A549) cells, we further demonstrated that (1) the protein corona alleviated the cytotoxicity of both ND-PG-TPP-land -h, (2) a smaller amount of proteins on the surface of ND-PG-TPP-ldid not affect its mitochondrial targeting ability, and (3) a larger amount of proteins on the surface of ND-PG-TPP-hdiminished its targeting specificity by restricting the NDs inside the endosome and lysosome compartments. Our findings will provide in-depth insights into the design of NPs with active targeting moiety for more precise and safer delivery at the subcellular level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2823-2832
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Volume18
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 5 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cytotoxicity
  • mitochondrial targeting
  • nanoparticles
  • polyglycerol
  • protein corona
  • triphenylphosphonium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery

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