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IRTG / Soft Matter Science
Freiburger Materialforschungszentrum
Stefan-Meier-Str. 21
79104 Freiburg, Germany


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You are here: Home Events Prof. Liviu Movileanu "Single-Molecule Detection of Proteins in A Complex Biofluid: Finding A Needle in A Haystack"

Prof. Liviu Movileanu "Single-Molecule Detection of Proteins in A Complex Biofluid: Finding A Needle in A Haystack"

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Department of Physics, Syracuse University, New York, USA

  • Seminar
When Jul 01, 2019
from 02:15 PM to 03:00 PM
Where Seminarraum B, FMF, Stefan-Meier-Str. 21, Freiburg
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Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are at the heart of cell signaling. Yet, we have very limited ways to quantitate them, especially in a heterogeneous solution, such as blood serum, cell lysates, or tissue biopsies. We have manufactured a single-polypeptide chain protein sensor capable of detecting transient PPIs, one interaction at a time. This sensor is like a fishing rod with three parts: a protein receptor in the form of a hook, a hexapeptide tether, which is similar to a short, flexible line, and a signal transducer (t-FhuA), functioning like an angling rod.1, 2 The transducer is an extensive truncation of ferric hydroxamate uptake component A (FhuA), an outer-membrane, b-barrel protein of E. coli. In this way, t-FhuA forms a nanopore that facilitates the transmembrane permeation of ions, leading to a uniform current. When a free protein ligand in solution is reversibly captured by the tethered protein receptor, transient capture and release events are measured as current deflections between two open substates of the pore. Notably, these events are unambiguously discriminated in mammalian serum. Our sensor could be extended to emerging areas of molecular diagnostics or might be adapted to develop tools in high-throughput protein profiling and drug discovery.

Acknowledgements. I am thankful to my graduate student, Avi Thakur, as well as others in my laboratory and funding agency (NIH R01 GM088403 and NIH R01 GM129429).

1. Thakur, A.K. & Movileanu, L. Real-time measurement of protein-protein interactions at single-molecule resolution using a biological nanopore. Nat. Biotechnol. 37, 96-101 (2019).
2. Kuehnel, K. Touch-and-go sensing. Nat. Methods 16, 145 (2019).

invited by Prof. Jan Behrends

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