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      CuO and ZnO nanoparticles: phytotoxicity, metal speciation, and induction of oxidative stress in sand-grown wheat

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          Does the antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles depend on the shape of the nanoparticle? A study of the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli.

          In this work we investigated the antibacterial properties of differently shaped silver nanoparticles against the gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli, both in liquid systems and on agar plates. Energy-filtering transmission electron microscopy images revealed considerable changes in the cell membranes upon treatment, resulting in cell death. Truncated triangular silver nanoplates with a {111} lattice plane as the basal plane displayed the strongest biocidal action, compared with spherical and rod-shaped nanoparticles and with Ag(+) (in the form of AgNO(3)). It is proposed that nanoscale size and the presence of a {111} plane combine to promote this biocidal property. To our knowledge, this is the first comparative study on the bactericidal properties of silver nanoparticles of different shapes, and our results demonstrate that silver nanoparticles undergo a shape-dependent interaction with the gram-negative organism E. coli.
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            The changing faces of glutathione, a cellular protagonist.

            Glutathione (GSH) has been described for a long time just as a defensive reagent against the action of toxic xenobiotics (drugs, pollutants, carcinogens). As a prototype antioxidant, it has been involved in cell protection from the noxious effect of excess oxidant stress, both directly and as a cofactor of glutathione peroxidases. In addition, it has long been known that GSH is capable of forming disulfide bonds with cysteine residues of proteins, and the relevance of this mechanism ("S-glutathionylation") in regulation of protein function is currently receiving confirmation in a series of research lines. Rather paradoxically, however, recent studies have also highlighted the ability of GSH-and notably of its catabolites-to promote oxidative processes, by participating in metal ion-mediated reactions eventually leading to formation of reactive oxygen species and free radicals. A crucial role in these phenomena is played by membrane bound gamma-glutamyltransferase activity. The significance of GSH as a major factor in regulation of cell life, proliferation, and death, should be regarded as the integrated result of all these roles it can play.
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              Phytotoxicity of nanoparticles: inhibition of seed germination and root growth.

              Plants need to be included to develop a comprehensive toxicity profile for nanoparticles. Effects of five types of nanoparticles (multi-walled carbon nanotube, aluminum, alumina, zinc, and zinc oxide) on seed germination and root growth of six higher plant species (radish, rape, ryegrass, lettuce, corn, and cucumber) were investigated. Seed germination was not affected except for the inhibition of nanoscale zinc (nano-Zn) on ryegrass and zinc oxide (nano-ZnO) on corn at 2000 mg/L. Inhibition on root growth varied greatly among nanoparticles and plants. Suspensions of 2000 mg/L nano-Zn or nano-ZnO practically terminated root elongation of the tested plant species. Fifty percent inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of nano-Zn and nano-ZnO were estimated to be near 50mg/L for radish, and about 20mg/L for rape and ryegrass. The inhibition occurred during the seed incubation process rather than seed soaking stage. These results are significant in terms of use and disposal of engineered nanoparticles.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Nanoparticle Research
                J Nanopart Res
                Springer Nature America, Inc
                1388-0764
                1572-896X
                September 2012
                August 21 2012
                September 2012
                : 14
                : 9
                Article
                10.1007/s11051-012-1125-9
                e3562271-9ef2-424d-b33d-bc19663b7aa4
                © 2012
                Product
                Self URI (article page): http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11051-012-1125-9

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