Identification of the nanogold particle-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress by omic techniques and systems biology analysis

ACS Nano. 2011 Dec 27;5(12):9354-69. doi: 10.1021/nn2027775. Epub 2011 Nov 22.


Growth inhibition and apoptotic/necrotic phenotype was observed in nanogold particle (AuNP)-treated human chronic myelogenous leukemia cells. To elucidate the underlying cellular mechanisms, proteomic techniques including two-dimensional electrophoresis/mass spectrometry and protein microarrays were utilized to study the differentially expressed proteome and phosphoproteome, respectively. Systems biology analysis of the proteomic data revealed that unfolded protein-associated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response was the predominant event. Concomitant with transcriptomic analysis using mRNA expression, microarrays show ER stress response in the AuNP-treated cells. The ER stress protein markers' expression assay unveiled AuNPs as an efficient cellular ER stress elicitor. Upon ER stress, cellular responses, including reactive oxygen species increase, mitochondrial cytochrome c release, and mitochondria damage, chronologically occurred in the AuNP-treated cells. Conclusively, this study demonstrates that AuNPs cause cell death through induction of unmanageable ER stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / drug effects*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Gold / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • K562 Cells
  • Materials Testing
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Systems Biology


  • Proteome
  • Gold