Plasma treatment causes structural modifications in lysozyme, and increases cytotoxicity towards cancer cells

Pankaj Attri, Nagendra Kumar Kaushik, Neha Kaushik, Dietmar Hammerschmid, Angela Privat-Maldonado, Joey De Backer, Masaharu Shiratani, Eun Ha Choi, Annemie Bogaerts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bacterial and mammalian proteins, such as lysozyme, are gaining increasing interest as anticancer drugs. This study aims to modify the lysozyme structure using cold atmospheric plasma to boost its cancer cell killing effect. We investigated the structure at acidic and neutral pH using various experimental techniques (circular dichroism, fluorescence, and mass spectrometry) and molecular dynamics simulations. The controlled structural modification of lysozyme at neutral pH enhances its activity, while the activity was lost at acidic pH at the same treatment conditions. Indeed, a larger number of amino acids were oxidized at acidic pH after plasma treatment, which results in a greater distortion of the lysozyme structure, whereas only limited structural changes were observed in lysozyme after plasma treatment at neutral pH. We found that the plasma-treated lysozyme significantly induced apoptosis to the cancer cells. Our results reveal that plasma-treated lysozyme could have potential as a new cancer cell killing drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1724-1736
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Volume182
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Energy(all)

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