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Influence of luminescent graphene quantum dots on trypsin activity

Authors Tabish TA, Pranjol MZI, Karadag I, Horsell DW, Whatmore JL, Zhang S

Received 24 October 2017

Accepted for publication 9 December 2017

Published 15 March 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1525—1538


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster

Tanveer A Tabish,1,2 Md Zahidul I Pranjol,2 Ilayda Karadag,1 David W Horsell,1 Jacqueline L Whatmore,2 Shaowei Zhang1

1College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK; 2Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK

Background: Protein–graphene interactions have the potential to play a pivotal role in the future directions of nanomedicine. These interactions lead to diverse processes such as generation of protein coronas, nano–bio interfaces, particle wrapping, and biocatalytic processes that could determine the ultimate fate of graphene nanocomposites in biologic systems. However, such interactions and their effects on the bioavailability of graphene have not yet been widely appreciated, despite the fact that this is the primary surface in contact with cells.
Methods: This paper reports on the integrative physiochemical interaction between trypsin and graphene quantum dots (GQDs) to determine their potential biologic identity in enzyme engineering. This interaction was measured by a wide range of analytical methods.
Results: Definitive binding and modulation of trypsin–GQDs was demonstrated for the first time by use of vibrational spectroscopy and wetting transparency, which revealed that trypsin was absorbed on GQDs’ surface through its cationic and hydrophilic residues. Our findings suggested that trypsin’s active sites were stabilized and protected by the GQDs, which were likely to be responsible for the high bioavailability of GQDs in enzymes.
Conclusion: Our work demonstrates the efficacy of GQDs as an enzyme modulator with high specificity, and their great application potential in enzyme engineering as well as enzyme-based therapies.

Keywords: graphene, enzyme, luminescence, bioavailability, surface energy

Creative Commons License This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. The full terms of the License are available at The license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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