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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2012, Article ID 954601, 9 pages
Research Article

Biomolecular Triconjugates Formed between Gold, Protamine, and Nucleic Acid: Comparative Characterization on the Nanoscale

1Cell and Molecular Biology Program, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO 65897, USA
2College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
3Department of Chemistry, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO 65897, USA
4Department of Physics Astronomy and Materials Science, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO 65897, USA
5School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
6George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
7School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburg, PA 15261, USA

Received 15 June 2011; Accepted 11 August 2011

Academic Editor: Dongwoo Khang

Copyright © 2012 Robert K. DeLong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


DNA and RNA micro- and nanoparticles are increasingly being used for gene and siRNA drug delivery and a variety of other applications in bionanotechnology. On the nanoscale, these entities represent unique challenges from a physicochemical characterization perspective. Here, nucleic acid conjugates with protamine and gold nanoparticles (GNP) were characterized comparatively in the nanorange of concentration by UV/Vis NanoDrop spectroscopy, fluorimetry, and gel electrophoresis. Given the intense interest in splice-site switching oligomers (SSOs), we utilized a human tumor cell culture system (HeLa pLuc-705), in which SSO-directed splicing repair upregulates luciferase expression, in order to investigate bioactivity of the bionanoconjugates. Process parameters important for bioactivity were investigated, and the bimolecular nanoconjugates were confirmed by shifts in the dynamic laser light scatter (DLLS), UV/Vis spectrum, gel electrophoresis, or sedimentation pattern. The data presented herein may be useful in the future development of pharmaceutical and biotechnology formulations, processes, and analyses concerning protein, DNA, or RNA bionanoconjugates.