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A Solution to the Streptavidin-Biotin Paradox?

J. Husson and F. Pincet
Ecole Normale Supérieure, FR

Keywords:
streptavidin-biotin interaction, reaction-rate theory, Kramers theory, single bond, metastable state, energy landscape, rupture force

Abstract:
In the past decade, there has been an increasing number of experiments dedicated to the measurement of the strength of a single bond. The streptavidin-biotin complex has been more extensively studied than any other. However, the results of the various types of approach seem contradictory. Biomembrane Force Probe, DNA stretching and flow chamber experiments lead to very different conclusions. Besides, the energy landscapes obtained with these experimental measurements are not compatible with the one predicted by Molecular Dynamics Simulations. Therefore, the streptavidin-biotin complex seems technique sensitive. All these discrepancies form an apparent paradox in the observed behavior of this complex. In this presentation, all these results will be conciliated by experiments performed with a Biomembrane Force Probe in which parameters of formation and detachment of the bond will be varied in an unusual manner in order to systematically probe the energy landscape. The results will be confirmed by completely applying Kramers equations on metastable systems.

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