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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Imaging the binding ability of proteins immobilized on surfaces with different orientations by using liquid crystals.

We report an investigation of the binding ability of a protein immobilized on surfaces with different orientations but in identical interfacial microenvironments. The surfaces present mixed self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of 11-[19-carboxymethylhexa(ethylene glycol)]undecyl-1-thiol, 1, and 11-tetra(ethylene glycol) undecyl-1-thiol, 2. Whereas 2 is used to define an interfacial microenvironment that prevents nonspecific adsorption of proteins, 1 was activated by two different schemes to immobilize ribonuclease A (RNase A) in either a preferred orientation or random orientations. The binding of the ribonuclease inhibitor protein (RI) to RNase A on these surfaces was characterized by using ellipsometry and the orientational behavior of liquid crystals. Ellipsometric measurements indicate identical extents of immobilization of RNase A via the two schemes. Following incubation of both surfaces with RI, however, ellipsometric measurements indicate a 4-fold higher binding ability of the RNase A immobilized with a preferred orientation over RNase A immobilized with a random orientation. The higher binding ability of the oriented RNase A over the randomly oriented RNase A was also apparent in the orientational behavior of nematic liquid crystals of 4-cyano-4'-pentylcyanobiphenyl (5CB) overlayed on these surfaces. These results demonstrate that the orientations of proteins covalently immobilized in controlled interfacial microenvironments can influence the binding activities of the immobilized proteins. Results reported in this article also demonstrate that the orientational states of proteins immobilized at surfaces can be distinguished by examining the optical appearances of liquid crystals.[1]


  1. Imaging the binding ability of proteins immobilized on surfaces with different orientations by using liquid crystals. Luk, Y.Y., Tingey, M.L., Dickson, K.A., Raines, R.T., Abbott, N.L. J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2004) [Pubmed]
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