Cataract, the major cause of blindness worldwide occurs due to the misfolding and aggregation of the protein crystallin, which constitute a major portion of the lens protein. Other than the whole protein crystallin, the peptide sequences generated from crystallin as a result of covalent protein damage have also been shown to possess and foster protein aggregation, which can be established as crystallin aggregation models. Thus, the disaggregation or inhibition of these protein aggregates could be a viable approach to combat cataract and preserve lens proteostasis. Herein, we tried to explore the disruption as well as inhibition of the intact α-crystallin protein and α-crystallin derived model peptide aggregates by l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (levodopa) coated gold (Au) nano/micro-roses as modulators. Thioflavin T fluorescence enhancement assay, and electron microscopic analysis were being employed to probe the anti-aggregation behavior of the Au nano/micro-roses towards the aggregating α-crystallin peptides/protein. Further, computational studies were performed to reveal the nature of molecular interactions between the levodopa molecule and the α-crystallin derived model peptides. Interestingly, both levodopa coated Au nano/micro-roses were found to be capable of inhibiting as well as preventing the aggregation of the intact α-crystallin protein and other model peptides derived from it.
We are working at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology Mohali, one of the leading research institutes in India in the field of Nano Science. INST is located in Chandigarh, one of the major cities of India.