Insights into a Protein-Nanoparticle System by Paramagnetic Perturbation NMR Spectroscopy

Yamanappa Hunashal, Cristina Cantarutti, Sofia Giorgetti, Loredana Marchese, Federico Fogolari, Gennaro Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The interaction between proteins and nanoparticles is a very relevant subject because of the potential applications in medicine and material science in general. Further interest derives from the amyloidogenic character of the considered protein, β2-microglobulin (β2m), which may be regarded as a paradigmatic system for possible therapeutic strategies. Previous evidence showed in fact that gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are able to inhibit β2m fibril formation in vitro. METHODS: NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and ESR (Electron Spin Resonance) spectroscopy are employed to characterize the paramagnetic perturbation of the extrinsic nitroxide probe Tempol on β2m in the absence and presence of AuNPs to determine the surface accessibility properties and the occurrence of chemical or conformational exchange, based on measurements conducted under magnetization equilibrium and non-equilibrium conditions. RESULTS: The nitroxide perturbation analysis successfully identifies the protein regions where protein-protein or protein-AuNPs interactions hinder accessibility or/and establish exchange contacts. These information give interesting clues to recognize the fibrillation interface of β2m and hypothesize a mechanism for AuNPs fibrillogenesis inhibition. CONCLUSIONS: The presented approach can be advantageously applied to the characterization of the interface in protein-protein and protein-nanoparticles interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 7 2020


  • Tempol
  • amyloidogenic proteins
  • nitroxide paramagnetic perturbation
  • protein NMR
  • protein-nanoparticle interactions
  • spin label extrinsic probes
  • β2-microglobulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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