Fast Protein-Binding Nanoparticles

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Science  21 Sep 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6101, pp. 1435
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6101.1435-a

One possible use of synthetic polymeric nanoparticles is to target and bind protein in vivo. As such, these nanoparticles have potential for medical applications, but often their performance is lower in vivo than in vitro because of slow binding kinetics and nonspecific protein binding. Hoshino et al. borrowed the concept of “induced fit” for enzymatic binding to substrates to improve the binding kinetics of a polymeric nanoparticle. They used a poly-N-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPam) backbone, which has a temperature-driven phase transition from a flexible random coil to a rigid conformation. The protein target, concanavalin A, binds the sugar mannose. To prepare synthetic polymeric nanoparticles that recognized the target protein through multipoint interactions, the authors synthesized PINPam nanoparticles copolymered with p-acrylamidophenyl-α-d-mannopyranoside. Nanoparticles in the flexible conformation have faster binding kinetics than those in the rigid conformation, but the fastest kinetics was observed at the transition temperature between the swollen and collapsed phases.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja306053s (2012).

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