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Effects of Nanomaterials on Luciferase with Significant Protection and Increased Enzyme Activity Observed for Zinc Oxide Nanomaterials

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This principle goal of this research was to examine the effects of various nanomaterials on the activity and behavior of the firefly enzyme luciferase. Nanomaterials have been found to stabilize, and in some instances, shown to increase the activity of enzymes. In this study gold, manganese oxide (MnO), and zinc oxide (ZnO) nanomaterials were utilized in order to test their effects on enzyme activity. Luciferase was used because its activity is easy to analyze, as it typically produces a large amount of bioluminescence easily detected by a Microtiter plate reader. Following incubation with the various nanomaterials, luciferase was subjected to degradation by several protein denaturing agents, such as heat, SDS, urea, ethanol, protease, hydrogen peroxide, and pH changes. Results indicated that luciferase activity is indeed affected when combined with nanomaterials, accompanied by both increases and decreases in enzyme activity depending on the type of nanomaterial and denaturing agent used. In most of the experiments, when incubated with ZnO nanomaterials, luciferase depicted significant increases in activity and bioluminescence. Additional experiments, in which human A375 cells were treated with luciferase-nanomaterial mixtures, also depicted increased enzyme activity and bioluminescence for luciferase incubated with ZnO nanomaterials. Ultimately, our findings indicated that when luciferase was subjected to multiple types of denaturation, zinc oxide nanomaterials dramatically preserved and increased enzyme activity and bioluminescence.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-12-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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