Relevance of Electrostatics for the Interaction of Tyrosine Hydroxylase with Porous Silicon Nanoparticles
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMolecular Pharmaceutics. 2021, 18 (3), 976-985. 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.0c00960
Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is the enzyme catalyzing the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of dopamine in the brain. Developing enzyme replacement therapies using TH could therefore be beneficial to patient groups with dopamine deficiency, and the use of nanocarriers that cross the blood–brain barrier seems advantageous for this purpose. Nanocarriers may also help to maintain the structure and function of TH, which is complex and unstable. Understanding how TH may interact with a nanocarrier is therefore crucial for the investigation of such therapeutic applications. This work describes the interaction of TH with porous silicon nanoparticles (pSiNPs), chosen since they have been shown to deliver other macromolecular therapeutics successfully to the brain. Size distributions obtained by dynamic light scattering show a size increase of pSiNPs upon addition of TH and the changes observed at the surface of pSiNPs by transmission electron microscopy also indicated TH binding at pH 7. As pSiNPs are negatively charged, we also investigated the binding at pH 6, which makes TH less negatively charged than at pH 7. However, as seen by thioflavin-T fluorescence, TH aggregated at this more acidic pH. TH activity was unaffected by the binding to pSiNPs most probably because the active site stays available for catalysis, in agreement with calculations of the surface electrostatic potential pointing to the most positively charged regulatory domains in the tetramer as the interacting regions. These results reveal pSiNPs as a promising delivery device of enzymatically active TH to increase local dopamine synthesis.