Background: Various applications of nanosubstances in industrial and consumer goods sectors
are growing rapidly because of their useful chemical and physical properties.
Objectives: Assessment of hazard posed by exposure to nanosubstances is essential for the protection of
human and ecological health.
Methods: We analyzed the proteomics patterns of Caco-2/HT29-MTX cells in co-culture exposed for
three and twenty four hours to two kinds of nanoparticles: multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT)
and TiO2 nanobelts (TiO2-NB). For each nanosubstance cells were exposed to two concentrations of the
material before carrying out proteomics analyses: 10 μg and 100 μg. In each case over 3000 proteins
were identified. A mathematically based similarity index, which measures the changes in abundances of
cellular proteins that are highly affected by exposure to the nanosubstances, was used to characterize
toxic effects of the nanomaterials.
Results: We identified 8 and 25 proteins, which are most highly affected by MWCNT and TiO2-NB, respectively.
These proteins may be responsible for specific response of cells to the nanoparticles. Further
14 reported proteins are affected by either of the two nanoparticles and they are probably related to nonspecific
toxic response of the cells.
Conclusion: The similarity methods proposed in this paper may be useful in the management and visualization
of the large amount of data generated by proteomics technologies.