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Dual function of Selenium nanoparticles: Inhibition or induction of lysozyme amyloid aggregation and evaluation of their cell based cytotoxicity

H. Ramshini, S. Rostami


Aberrant protein aggregation and the formation of amyloid deposits are associated with numerous neuro- and non-neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, one potential strategy is to eliminate these deposits by halting amyloid aggregation. Selenium nanoparticles (Se-NPs) have great potential in biomedicine for various therapeutic and diagnostic purposes and also have the ability to inhibit amyloid fibrillation. Herein, Hen Egg White Lysozyme (HEWL) was chosen as a protein model, and rod-like Se-NPs with diameters ranging from 90 to 120 nm were synthesized and the influence of shape and concentration of the particles on HEWL fibrillation was investigated. The effect of the nanoparticles on HEWL amyloid formation was analyzed using thioflavin T and Congo red binding assays, atomic force microscopy, and cytotoxicity assays. In the present study, it has been observed that these particles have a dual function in various concentrations. Using lower concentrations of Se-NPs ranging from 3-30 μg/ml, the Thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence intensity decreased significantly by 60%, with an increased lag time compared to that of the control. While HEWL fibrillation substantially increased upon co-incubation with a higher concentration of these particles (300-2400μg/ml), and these results were verified by AFM, Congo red, and MTT assay. We showed that inhibitory or inductive influences of Se-NPs on the hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) amyloid aggregation are achieved via different independent mechanisms. These results demonstrate that dual-activity of Se-NPs might be a valuable targeting system for inhibiting amyloid aggregation, and thus, may play a useful role in new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies for amyloid-related disorders.


Amyloid aggregation; Hen lysozyme; aggregation inhibition; Cell based cytotoxicity; Selenium nanoparticles

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