Charge-associated effects of fullerene derivatives on microbial structural integrity and central metabolism

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TitleCharge-associated effects of fullerene derivatives on microbial structural integrity and central metabolism
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsTang YJJ, Ashcroft JM, Chen D, Min GW, Kim CH, Murkhejee B, Larabell C, Keasling JD, Chen FQF
Journal TitleNano Letters
Journal DateMar
ISBN Number1530-6984
Accession NumberISI:000244867400039
Keywordsantibacterial, c-60, carbon nanotubes, carboxyfullerene, cytotoxicity, flux analysis, inhibition, nanomaterials, shewanella-oneidensis mr-1, water

The effects of four types of fullerene compounds (C-60, C-60-OH, C-60-COOH, C-60-NH2) were examined on two model microorganisms (Escherichia coli W3110 and Shewanella oneidensis MR-1). Positively charged C-60-NH2 at concentrations as low as 10 mg/L inhibited growth and reduced substrate uptake for both microorganisms. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed damage to cellular structures. Neutrally charged C-60 and C-60-OH had mild negative effects on S. oneidensis MR-1, whereas the negatively charged C-60-COOH did not affect either microorganism's growth. The effect of fullerene compounds on global metabolism was further investigated using [3-C-13]L-lactate isotopic labeling, which tracks perturbations to metabolic reaction rates in bacteria by examining the change in the isotopic labeling pattern in the resulting metabolites (often amino acids).(1-3) The C-13 isotopomer analysis from all fullerene-exposed cultures revealed no significant differences in isotopomer distributions from unstressed cells. This result indicates that microbial central metabolism is robust to environmental stress inflicted by fullerene nanoparticles. In addition, although C-60-NH2 compounds caused mechanical stress on the cell wall or membrane, both S. oneidensis MR-1 and E. coli W3110 can efficiently alleviate such stress by cell aggregation and precipitation of the toxic nanoparticles. The results presented here favor the hypothesis that fullerenes cause more membrane stress(4-6) than perturbation to energy metabolism.(7)

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