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Nanoparticle-Mediated IgE−Receptor Aggregation and Signaling in RBL Mast Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 02.12.2009, 00:00 by Yu-Fen Huang, Haipeng Liu, Xiangling Xiong, Yan Chen, Weihong Tan
Complex cell behaviors are usually triggered by multivalent ligands that first bind to membrane receptors and then promote receptor clustering, thus altering intracellular signal transduction. While it is possible to produce such altered signal transduction by synthetic means, the development of chemically defined multivalent ligands of effectors is sometimes difficult and tedious. Specifically, the average spacing between two binding sites within an antibody and the average distance between receptors on the cell membrane are usually larger than most organic molecules. In this study, we directly address these challenges by demonstrating how gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) of precisely controlled mean diameters can be easily synthesized and surface-modified with dinitrophenyl (DNP) at an equally well-controlled ligand density or spacing. We found that both nanoparticle size and surface ligand density play key regulatory roles in the process of membrane antibody−receptor (IgE−FcεRI) binding and cross-linking, which, in turn, leads to degranulation and consequent release of chemical mediators on rat basophilic leukemia cells. In addition, by adjusting DNP−AuNP architecture, we discovered that our conjugates could either promote or inhibit cellular activation. Thus, these results demonstrate that nanoparticles serve not only as simple platforms for multivalent binding but also as mediators for key biological functions. As such, the findings we report here may provide insight into the use of nanoparticles as a comprehensive tool for use in detailed receptor/ligand interaction studies and in the design of nanoscale delivery and therapeutic systems.