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Keywords:

  • drug metabolism;
  • biomimetic silica;
  • enzyme immobilization;
  • organophosphate pesticide

Abstract

The encapsulation of proteins in biomimetic silica has recently been shown to successfully maintain enzymes in their active state. Organophosphate (OP) compounds are used as pesticides as well as potent chemical warfare nerve agents. Because these toxicants are life threatening, we sought to generate biomimetic silicas capable of responding to OPs. Here, we present the silica encapsulation of human drug metabolism enzyme carboxylesterase 1 (hCE1) in the presence of a range of catalysts. hCE1 was successfully encapsulated into silica particles when lysozyme or the peptide R5 were used as catalysts; in contrast, polyethyleneimine, a catalyst used to encapuslate other enzymes, did not facilitate hCE1 entrapment. hCE1 silica particles in a column chromatography format respond to the presence of the OP pesticides paraoxon and dimethyl-p-nitrophenyl phosphate in solution. These results may lead to novel approaches to detect OP pesticides or other weaponized agents that bind hCE1. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2011