Striking Improvement in Peroxidase Activity of Cytochrome c by Modulating Hydrophobicity of Surface-Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles within Cationic Reverse Micelles

Authors

  • Subhabrata Maiti,

    1. Department of Biological Chemistry, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032 (India), Fax: (+91) 33-24732805
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Krishnendu Das,

    1. Department of Biological Chemistry, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032 (India), Fax: (+91) 33-24732805
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sounak Dutta,

    1. Department of Biological Chemistry, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032 (India), Fax: (+91) 33-24732805
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Prof. Prasanta Kumar Das

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biological Chemistry, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032 (India), Fax: (+91) 33-24732805
    • Department of Biological Chemistry, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032 (India), Fax: (+91) 33-24732805
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

This work demonstrates a remarkable enhancement in the peroxidase activity of mitochondrial membrane protein cytochrome c (cyt c) by perturbing its tertiary structure in the presence of surface-functionalised gold nanoparticles (GNPs) within cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) reverse micelles. The loss in the tertiary structure of cyt c exposes its heme moiety (which is buried inside in the native globular form), which provides greater substrate (pyrogallol and H2O2) accessibility to the reactive heme residue. The surfactant shell of the CTAB reverse micelle in the presence of co-surfactant (n-hexanol) exerted higher crowding effects on the interfacially bound cyt c than similar anionic systems. The congested interface led to protein unfolding, which resulted in a 56-fold higher peroxidase activity of cyt c than that in water. Further perturbation in the protein’s structure was achieved by doping amphiphile-capped GNPs with varying hydrophobicities in the water pool of the reverse micelles. The hydrophobic moiety on the surface of the GNPs was directed towards the interfacial region, which induced major steric strain at the interface. Consequently, interaction of the protein with the hydrophobic domain of the amphiphile further disrupted its tertiary structure, which led to better opening up of the heme residue and, thereby, superior activity of the cyt c. The cyt c activity in the reverse micelles proportionately enhanced with an increase in the hydrophobicity of the GNP-capping amphiphiles. A rigid cholesterol moiety as the hydrophobic end group of the GNP strikingly improved the cyt c activity by up to 200-fold relative to that found in aqueous buffer. Fluorescence studies with both a tryptophan residue (Trp59) of the native protein and the sodium salt of fluorescein delineated the crucial role of the hydrophobicity of the GNP-capping amphiphiles in improving the peroxidase activity of cyt c by unfolding its tertiary structure within the reverse micelles.

Ancillary