Investigation of the pathway dependent endocytosis of gold nanoparticles by surface-enhanced Raman scattering

Deniz Yılmaz, Mustafa Culha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Endocytosis is a critical mechanism providing not only internalization of biomacromolecular structures but also communication with the environment where cells reside. Due to being the first step at the interaction interface, the route of cellular uptake has a major role governing the intracellular destinations and behaviors of molecular and non-molecular species including nanoparticles. To this end, various methods employing variety of techniques are investigated. In this study, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) based approach for the investigation of endocytosis of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) is reported. Internalization pathways of AuNPs were examined by flow cytometry via specific inhibitors for each endocytosis pathway type using three model cell lines Beas-2b, A549 and PNT1A. Macropinocytosis was blocked by cytochalasin D (CytoD), clathrin mediated endocytosis (CME) by sucrose (Scr), and caveolae mediated endocytosis (CE) by filipin (Fil). The results showed that cell type dependent AuNPs internalization affects not only the response of the cells to the inhibitors but also the obtained SERS spectra. SERS spectra of PNT1A cells treated with inhibitors was influenced most. The inhibition of each endocytosis pathway significantly affected the SERS spectral pattern and the spectral changes in different endocytosis pathways were clearly discriminated from each other. This means that SERS can significantly contribute to the investigation of different endosomal pathways from single living cells without any disruption of the cells or labeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122071
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Endocytosis
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Inhibitors
  • Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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