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

The binding energy of two nitrilotriacetate groups sharing a nickel ion.

Among the various molecular interactions used to construct supramolecular self-assembling systems, homoliganded metallic NTA-Ni-NTA complexes have received little attention despite their considerable potential applications, such as the connection of different biochemical functions. The stability of this complex is investigated here by using two concordant nanotechniques (surface forces apparatus and vesicle micromanipulation) that allow direct measurements of adhesion energies due to the chelation of nickel ions by nitrilotriacetate (NTA) groups grafted on surfaces. We show that two NTA groups can share a nickel ion, and that the association of a Ni-NTA complex with an NTA group has a molecular binding energy of 1.4 kcal/ mol. Binding measurements in bulk by isothermal titration calorimetry experiments give the same value and, furthermore, indicate that the Ni-NTA chelation bond is about five times stronger than the NTA-Ni-NTA one. This first direct proof and quantification of the simultaneous chelation of a nickel ion by two NTA groups sheds new light on association dynamics involving chelation processes and offers perspectives for the development of new supramolecular assemblies and anchoring strategies.[1]


  1. The binding energy of two nitrilotriacetate groups sharing a nickel ion. Tareste, D., Pincet, F., Brellier, M., Mioskowski, C., Perez, E. J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2005) [Pubmed]
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