In this paper we discuss the possibility of a general paradigm for cell–biomaterial and cell–nanoparticle interactions. The basis of the paradigm is that the nature of the biomaterial or nanoparticle surface is not the important parameter, but rather the nature of the outermost layer of adsorbed proteins as well as long-lived misfolded proteins shed from the surfaces. If the adsorbed protein is irreversibly adsorbed onto the surface it may be sufficiently disrupted so that a variety of peptide units (here termed “cryptic epitopes”) not usually expressed in nature at the surface of the protein become exposed. Similarly, where there is a slow exchange time with the surface, surface-induced perturbations may lead to long-lived misfolded proteins being shed from the surface and continuing to express altered surface peptide sequences. In cases where the proteins have lost most of their tertiary structure, anomalous peptide sequences and geometries that are not displayed at the surface by the native protein may in fact be presented after surface adsorption of a protein. Such anomalous surface expressions could contain novel epitopes that trigger various signalling pathways or even diseases. Thus, future approaches to understanding cell–biomaterial and cell–nanoparticle interactions should focus on characterising the outer layer of the adsorbed proteins, or “epitope mapping” as well as examining the possibility of formation of essentially “new” proteins as a result of desorption of conformationally or geometrically altered proteins.
|Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
|Published - 2007