Sudlow site II of human serum albumin remains functional after gold nanocluster encapsulation : a fluorescence-based drug binding study of L-Dopa

Russell, Ben A and Garton, Ashley and Alshammari, Abeer Saeed and Birch, David J S and Chen, Yu (2018) Sudlow site II of human serum albumin remains functional after gold nanocluster encapsulation : a fluorescence-based drug binding study of L-Dopa. Methods and Applications in Fluorescence, 6 (3). 035017. ISSN 2050-6120

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    Abstract

    Fluorescent protein-encapsulated gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) offer a non-toxic means of sensing and imaging biological phenomena on the nanoscale. However, the biofunctionality of proteins encapsulating AuNCs has not been fully elucidated to date. Here we studied the biofunctionality of the second major drug binding site (Sudlow II) of Human Serum Albumin (HSA) encapsulated AuNCs after AuNC synthesis. L-Dopa, a fluorescent drug molecule associated with the clinical treatment of Parkinson’s disease, which commonly binds to the Sudlow II site, was used to study the availability of the site before and after AuNC synthesis through changes to its fluorescence characteristics. L-Dopa was observed using its intrinsic fluorescence to readily bind to HSA-AuNCs complexes. Interestingly, the fluorescence emission intensity of AuNCs linearly increased with L-Dopa concentration while exciting the AuNC directly at 470 nm, Using a 400 nMHSA-AuNC solution, L-Dopa was rapidly detected at a limit of 300 pM, indicating that HSA-AuNCs fluorescence is extremely sensitive to molecular binding at the Sudlow II binding site. Future research may be able to utilize this sensitivity to improve the fluorescence characteristics of AuNCs within HSA-AuNCs for imaging and sensing including drug binding studies.