NSTI Nanotech 2009

Metal associated protein monolayers

M.A. Case
University of Vermont, US

Keywords: protein design, scanning probe microscopy, thin films


Advances in the fields of protein design and scanning probe microscopy have opened the door to the structural investigation of complex biological molecules confined in close-packed thin films. We have developed a strategy for assembling functional monomeric, homodimeric, and heterodimeric peptides and proteins as close-packed thin-films on SAMs on gold. The key to this assembly process is the display of an appropriate metal-binding ligand at the surface of the SAM. Peptides and proteins decorated with complementary metal-binding ligands selectively associate with the anchoring ligand in the presence of transition metal ions. In preliminary studies we have demonstrated the controlled assembly of the coiled-coil domain of the homodimeric transcription factor GCN4 as a thin film on the surface of a chimeric undecanethiol-triethyleneglyol SAM on atomically flat gold. This controlled nanoscale assembly of functional proteins sets the stage for the investigation of key biological signaling partners.
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