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Hydra protein reduces the toxicity of Ag–PVP nanoparticles in a 3D A549 cell line



Our previous work has confirmed that Hydra magnipapillata extract reduces the toxicity of nanomaterials. We investigated the effects of the Hydra protein (HP) and its role in reducing the toxicity of PVP-coated silver nanoparticles (Ag–PVP NPs) using the A549 lung epithelial cell line.


The viability of cells exposed to Ag–PVP NPs or Ag–PVP NPs + HP was 77.93 ± 6.96% or 95.04 ± 9.20%, respectively, indicating increased viability when HP was added. Although Ag–PVP NPs may have caused apoptosis and necrosis in exposed cells, limited effects were observed in the Ag–PVP NPs + HP exposure group. There were no effects on gene expression between the control and all experimental groups. A549 cell in 3D cultures was affected less by the toxicity of Ag–PVP NPs than those in 2D cultures.


In conclusion, HP appears to be a non-cytotoxic substance and can reduce the cytotoxicity of Ag nanomaterials.

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This study was supported by the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), which is funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2016R1A2B4016442 and NRF-2019R1A2C1004616).

Author information

Jin Ah Lee and Min-Kyeong Yeo contributed equally to this work; Min-Kyeong Yeo designed the research; Jin Ah Lee and Soon Seok Kim performed the research; Jin Ah Lee and Min-Kyeong Yeo analyzed the data; Jin Ah Lee and Min-Kyeong Yeo wrote the paper.

Correspondence to Min-Kyeong Yeo.

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Jin Ah Lee, Soon Seok Kim, and Min-Kyeong Yeo declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and animal rights

The experimental procedures followed the actual law of animal protection that was approved by the Animal Care Advisory Committee of Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea.

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The study was reviewed and approved by the Research Ethics Committee of Kyung Hee University. Informed consent statement: All study participants, or their legal guardian, provided informed written consent prior to study enrollment.

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Lee, J.A., Yeo, M. & Kim, S.S. Hydra protein reduces the toxicity of Ag–PVP nanoparticles in a 3D A549 cell line. Mol. Cell. Toxicol. 16, 73–81 (2020).

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  • Hydra proteins
  • Nano-toxicity reduction
  • Ag nano-particle
  • Ag–PVP
  • A 549 lung epithelial cell