标题：Conformational and functional effects of MPA-CdTe quantum dots on SOD: Evaluating the mechanism of oxidative stress induced by quantum dots in the mouse nephrocytes
作者：Hao, Minglu; Liu, Rutao
作者机构：[Hao, Minglu; Liu, Rutao] Shandong Univ, Sch Environm Sci & Engn, China Amer CRC Environm & Hlth, Qingdao, Shandong, Peoples R China.
通讯作者地址：[Liu, RT]Shandong Univ, Sch Environm Sci & Engn, 72 Jimo Binhai Rd, Qingdao 266237, Shandong, Peoples R China.
来源：JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR RECOGNITION
关键词：molecular level; nephrocytes; oxidative stress; quantum dot; toxicity
摘要：The application of quantum dots (QDs) is restricted by the biosafety issue. QDs contribute to the adverse effects of organisms probably because of the ability to induce oxidative stress via changing the activity of antioxidant enzyme, for example, superoxide dismutase (SOD). But the underlying molecular mechanisms still remain unclear. This study investigated the harmful effects of oxidative stress induced by mercaptopropionic acid capped CdTe QDs (MPA-CdTe QDs) on the mouse primary nephrocytes as well as the structure and function of SOD molecule and explored the underlying molecular mechanism. After 24-hour MPA-CdTe QD exposure, the activation level of extracellular regulated protein kinase (ERK) signaling pathway and cysteinyl-directed aspartate-specific proteases (Caspases) significantly increased, which led to the increasing level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cell apoptosis; the group pretreated with ROS scavenger N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) significantly reduced the apoptotic cell percentage, indicating that ROS played a critical role in QD-induced cytotoxicity. Further molecular experiments showed that the interacting processes between the MPA-CdTe QDs and SOD were spontaneous which changed the conformation, secondary structure of SOD. The interaction significantly resulted in the tightening of polypeptide chains and the shrinkage of SOD, leading to the inhibition of molecular SOD activity. This study demonstrates the adverse effects of QDs, revealing their potential risk in biomedical applications.