Modification of plasmid DNA topology by histone-mimetic gold nanoparticles

João Conde, Pedro V. Baptista, Yulan Hernández, Vanesa Sanz, Jesus M. De La Fuente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Our aim is to explore whether gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) functionalized with a carboxylated polyethylene glycol (PEG) and protamine (AuNP@PEG@Prot) can modulate - enhance or restrain - DNA condensation, altering DNA conformation and inducing structural changes. Understanding how these nanoconjugates modulate DNA structure, size and shape of DNA condensates, and enable control over the resulting 3D structures is of major biological and therapeutic importance. Materials & methods: Citrate-AuNPs were covered with a dense layer of a hetero-functional octa(ethylene glycol) (SH-EG(8)-COOH). Conjugation of protamine to the AuNP@PEG was achieved by taking advantage of the carboxylated surface previously generated on the surface of the NP and the remaining amino groups from the protamine, using carbodiimide and N-hydroxysulfosuccinimide coupling reactions. Results & conclusion: AuNP@PEG@Prot modulates the structure and topology of DNA, not only for condensation, but also for decondensation, via formation of higher quantities of dimers and multimers, when compared with AuNP@PEG and free protamine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1657-1666
Number of pages10
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • DNA integrity
  • DNA topology
  • gold nanoparticles
  • histones
  • plasmid DNA conformations
  • protamine
  • sperm chromatin


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