Metal associated protein monolayers
University of Vermont, US
Keywords: protein design, scanning probe microscopy, thin films
Abstract: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.