Antibody linking to atomic force microscope tips via disulfide bond formation.
ABSTRACT Covalent binding of bioligands to atomic force microscope (AFM) tips converts them into monomolecular biosensors by which cognate receptors can be localized on the sample surface and fine details of ligand-receptor interaction can be studied. Tethering of the bioligand to the AFM tip via a approximately 6 nm long, flexible poly(ethylene glycol) linker (PEG) allows the bioligand to freely reorient and to rapidly "scan" a large surface area while the tip is at or near the sample surface. In the standard coupling scheme, amino groups are first generated on the AFM tip. In the second step, these amino groups react with the amino-reactive ends of heterobifunctional PEG linkers. In the third step, the 2-pyridyl-S-S groups on the free ends of the PEG chains react with protein thiol groups to give stable disulfide bonds. In the present study, this standard coupling scheme has been critically examined, using biotinylated IgG with free thiols as the bioligand. AFM tips with PEG-tethered biotin-IgG were specifically recognized by avidin molecules that had been adsorbed to mica surfaces. The unbinding force distribution showed three maxima that reflected simultaneous unbinding of 1, 2, or 3 IgG-linked biotin residues from the avidin monolayer. The coupling scheme was well-reproduced on amino-functionalized silicon nitride chips, and the number of covalently bound biotin-IgG per microm2 was estimated by the amount of specifically bound ExtrAvidin-peroxidase conjugate. Coupling was evidently via disulfide bonds, since only biotin-IgG with free thiol groups was bound to the chips. The mechanism of protein thiol coupling to 2-pyridyl-S-S-PEG linkers on AFM tips was further examined by staging the coupling step in bulk solution and monitoring turnover by release of 2-pyridyl-SH which tautomerizes to 2-thiopyridone and absorbs light at 343 nm. These experiments predicted 10(3)-fold slower rates for the disulfide coupling step than actually observed on AFM tips and silicon nitride chips. The discrepancy was reconciled by assuming 10(3)-fold enrichment of protein on AFM tips via preadsorption, as is known to occur on comparable inorganic surfaces.
- SourceAvailable from: Harald H. Sitte[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The serotonin transporter (SERT) terminates neurotransmission by removing serotonin from the synaptic cleft. In addition, it is the site of action of antidepressants (which block the transporter) and of amphetamines (which induce substrate efflux). The interaction energies involved in binding of such compounds to the transporter are unknown. Here, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to probe single molecular interactions between the serotonin transporter and MFZ2-12 (a potent cocaine analog) in living CHOK1 cells. For the AFM measurements, MFZ2-12 was immobilized on AFM tips by using a heterobifunctional cross-linker. By varying the pulling velocity in force distance cycles drug-transporter complexes were ruptured at different force loadings allowing for mapping of the interaction energy landscape. We derived chemical rate constants from these recordings and compared them with those inferred from inhibition of transport and ligand binding: koff values were in good agreement with those derived from uptake experiments; in contrast, the kon values were scaled down when determined by AFM. Our observations generated new insights into the energy landscape of the interaction between SERT and inhibitors. They thus provide a useful framework for molecular dynamics simulations by exploring the range of forces and energies that operate during the binding reaction.Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2012; 287(1):105-13. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The benefits of single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) clearly outweigh the challenges which include small sample sizes, tedious data collection and introduction of human bias during the subjective data selection. These difficulties can be partially eliminated through automation of the experimental data collection process for atomic force microscopy (AFM). Automation can be accomplished using an algorithm that triages usable force-extension recordings quickly with positive and negative selection. We implemented an algorithm based on the windowed fast Fourier transform of force-extension traces that identifies peaks using force-extension regimes to correctly identify usable recordings from proteins composed of repeated domains. This algorithm excels as a real-time diagnostic because it involves <30ms computational time, has high sensitivity and specificity, and efficiently detects weak unfolding events. We used the statistics provided by the automated procedure to clearly demonstrate the properties of molecular adhesion and how these properties change with differences in the cantilever tip and protein functional groups and protein age.Ultramicroscopy 08/2013; 136C:7-14. · 2.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The role of the collagen-platelet interaction is of crucial importance to the haemostatic response during both injury and pathogenesis of the blood vessel wall. Of particular interest is the high affinity interaction of the platelet transmembrane receptor, alpha 2 beta 1, responsible for firm attachment of platelets to collagen at and around injury sites. We employ single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) using the atomic force microscope (AFM) to study the interaction of the I-domain from integrin alpha 2 beta 1 with a synthetic collagen related triple-helical peptide containing the high-affinity integrin-binding GFOGER motif, and a control peptide lacking this sequence, referred to as GPP. By utilising synthetic peptides in this manner we are able to study at the molecular level subtleties that would otherwise be lost when considering cell-to-collagen matrix interactions using ensemble techniques. We demonstrate for the first time the complexity of this interaction as illustrated by the complex multi-peaked force spectra and confirm specificity using control blocking experiments. In addition we observe specific interaction of the GPP peptide sequence with the I-domain. We propose a model to explain these observations.International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2013; 14(2):2832-45. · 2.46 Impact Factor