Nature Communications, 11 January, 2022, DOI：https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-35828-2
Deciphering the catalytic mechanism of superoxide dismutase activity of carbon dot nanozyme
Wenhui Gao, Jiuyang He, Lei Chen, Xiangqin Meng, Yana Ma, Liangliang Cheng, Kangsheng Tu, Xingfa Gao, Cui Liu, Mingzhen Zhang, Kelong Fan, Dai-Wen Pang & Xiyun Yan
Nanozymes with superoxide dismutase (SOD)-like activity have attracted increasing interest due to their ability to scavenge superoxide anion, the origin of most reactive oxygen species in vivo. However, SOD nanozymes reported thus far have yet to approach the activity of natural enzymes. Here, we report a carbon dot (C-dot) SOD nanozyme with a catalytic activity of over 10,000 U/mg, comparable to that of natural enzymes. Through selected chemical modifications and theoretical calculations, we show that the SOD-like activity of C-dots relies on the hydroxyl and carboxyl groups for binding superoxide anions and the carbonyl groups conjugated with the π-system for electron transfer. Moreover, C-dot SOD nanozymes exhibit intrinsic targeting ability to oxidation-damaged cells and effectively protect neuron cells in the ischemic stroke male mice model. Together, our study sheds light on the structure-activity relationship of C-dot SOD nanozymes, and demonstrates their potential for treating of oxidation stress related diseases.