Plant Oil Bodies: Novel Carriers to Deliver Lipophilic Molecules

Research Area: Uncategorized Year: 2011
Type of Publication: Article
  • Stefania Bonsegna
  • Simona Bettini
  • Rosanna Pagano
  • Antonella Zacheo
  • Viviana Vergaro
  • Giovanna Giovinazzo
  • Gabriella Caminati
  • Stefano Leporatti
  • Ludovico Valli
  • Angelo Santino
Number: 6 Pages: 792-802
Month: March
ISSN: 0273-2289
Oil bodies (OBs) are specialised organelles ubiquitously detected in plant oil seeds, which serve as lipid storage compartments. OBs consist of a hydrophobic core of triacylglycerol (TAGs), surrounded by a monolayer of phospholipids (PLs) embedded with some specific proteins with a size ranging from 0.5 to 2 mu m. In this work, we report an easy method to reconstitute OBs starting from their constituents and to encapsulate lipophilic molecules, i.e. the fluorescent fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) and carboxyfluorescein (CF), into reconstituted OBs. This methods allowed us to produce OBs 4- to 10-fold smaller (50-200 nm) than the native one and to obtain a good recovery (about 40%) of both the fluorescent compounds used in the present work. The properties of reconstituted OBs were investigated by a combination of Brewster angle microscopy, scanning force microscopy, zeta-potential techniques. OBs were stable and formed ordered monolayers when patterned on hydrophobic substrates whereas they showed a higher tendency to aggregate into larger, coalescing OBs when were deposited onto hydrophilic substrates or at the air/water interface. Furthermore, we verified the uptake of FITC-loaded OBs by the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. Our results indicated that OBs could be envisaged as novel carriers to deliver hydrophobic bioactive compounds.
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