Background: We introduce a promising methodology to identify new therapeutic targets in cancer. Proteins bind to nanoparticles to form a protein corona. We modulate this corona by using surface-engineered nanoparticles, and identify protein composition to provide insight into disease development. Methods/Principal Findings: Using a family of structurally homologous nanoparticles we have investigated the changes in the protein corona around surface-functionalized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) from normal and malignant ovarian cell lysates. Proteomics analysis using mass spectrometry identified hepatoma-derived growth factor (HDGF) that is found exclusively on positively charged AuNPs ( +AuNPs) after incubation with the lysates. We confirmed expression of HDGF in various ovarian cancer cells and validated binding selectivity to +AuNPs by Western blot analysis. Silencing of HDGF by siRNA resulted s inhibition in proliferation of ovarian cancer cells. Conclusion: We investigated the modulation of protein corona around surface-functionalized gold nanoparticles as a promising approach to identify new therapeutic targets. The potential of our method for identifying therapeutic targets was demonstrated through silencing of HDGF by siRNA, which inhibited proliferation of ovarian cancer cells. This integrated proteomics, bioinformatics, and nanotechnology strategy demonstrates that protein corona identification can be used to discover novel therapeutic targets in cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)