Dissolving hydroxyolite: a DNA molecule into its hydroxyapatite mold
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In spite of the clinical importance of hydroxyapatite (HAp), the mechanism that controls its dissolution in acidic environments remains unclear. Knowledge of such a process is highly desirable to provide better understanding of different pathologies, as for example osteoporosis, and of the HAp potential as vehicle for gene delivery to replace damaged DNA. In this work, the mechanism of dissolution in acid conditions of HAp nanoparticles encapsulating double-stranded DNA has been investigated at the atomistic level using computer simulations. For this purpose, four consecutive (multi-step) molecular dynamics simulations, involving different temperatures and proton transfer processes, have been carried out. Results are consistent with a polynuclear decalcification mechanism in which proton transfer processes, from the surface to the internal regions of the particle, play a crucial role. In addition, the DNA remains protected by the mineral mold and transferred proton from both temperature and chemicals. These results, which indicate that biomineralization imparts very effective protection to DNA, also have important implications in other biomedical fields, as for example in the design of artificial bones or in the fight against osteoporosis by promoting the fixation of Ca2+ ions.
CitationBertran, O., Revilla-López, G., Casanovas Salas, Jordi, del Valle, LJ., Turon, P., Puiggali, J., Aleman, C. Dissolving hydroxyolite: a DNA molecule into its hydroxyapatite mold. "Chemistry: a european journal", 1 Abril 2016, vol. 22, núm. 19, p. 6631-6636.
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