Epidermal growth factor enhances cellular uptake of polystyrene nanoparticles by clathrin-mediated endocytosis

Le Thi Minh Phuc, Akiyoshi Taniguchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The interaction between nanoparticles and cells has been studied extensively, but most research has focused on the effect of various nanoparticle characteristics, such as size, morphology, and surface charge, on the cellular uptake of nanoparticles. In contrast, there have been very few studies to assess the influence of cellular factors, such as growth factor responses, on the cellular uptake efficiency of nanoparticles. The aim of this study was to clarify the effects of epidermal growth factor (EGF) on the uptake efficiency of polystyrene nanoparticles (PS NPs) by A431 cells, a human carcinoma epithelial cell line. The results showed that EGF enhanced the uptake efficiency of A431 cells for PS NPs. In addition, inhibition and localization studies of PS NPs and EGF receptors (EGFRs) indicated that cellular uptake of PS NPs is related to the binding of EGF-EGFR complex and PS NPs. Different pathways are used to enter the cells depending on the presence or absence of EGF. In the presence of EGF, cellular uptake of PS NPs is via clathrin-mediated endocytosis, whereas, in the absence of EGF, uptake of PS NPs does not involve clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Our findings indicate that EGF enhances cellular uptake of PS NPs by clathrin-mediated endocytosis. This result could be important for developing safe nanoparticles and their safe use in medical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1301
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 19
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellular uptake
  • Clathrin-mediated endocytosis
  • EGF
  • PS NPs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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