β‑Lactoglobulin as a Nanotransporter for Glabridin: Exploring the Binding Properties and Bioactivity Influences
Based on the fact that β-lactoglobulin (β-lg) can solubilize readily in water and bind many small hydrophobic molecules, a novel nanocomplexed glabridin with β-lg was developed by an antisolvent precipitation method. After binding to β-lg, the solubility of glabridin in aqueous solution was enhanced 21 times. Fluorescence spectroscopy of β-lg revealed that the interaction of glabridin with β-lg made the environment of Trp and Tyr residues on β-lg more hydrophilic. The morphology and crystal form of the nanocomplexed glabridin with β-lg was characterized and the changes in β-lg conformation was also been investigated. In combination with molecular docking modeling, the results revealed that glabridin was bound to β-lg by hydrophobic forces and hydrogen-bond interactions. Furthermore, the nanocomplexed glabridin with β-lg had a better 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical-scavenging capacity and 2,2′-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid radical-scavenging capacity compared to free glabridin at the same concentration during in vitro tests. Thus, nanocomplexing with β-lg, by virtue of its ability to enhance the solubility of glabridin in aqueous systems, provides a suitable opportunity as a nanocarrier molecule.