3 years ago

New Architecture for Reagentless, Protein-Based Electrochemical Biosensors

New Architecture for Reagentless, Protein-Based Electrochemical Biosensors
Kevin W. Plaxco, Demosthenes Morales, Sheng Sun, Di Kang, Frederick W. Dahlquist, Martin Kurnik
Here we demonstrate a new class of reagentless, single-step sensors for the detection of proteins and peptides that is the electrochemical analog of fluorescence polarization (fluorescence anisotropy), a versatile optical approach widely employed to this same end. Our electrochemical sensors consist of a redox-reporter-modified protein (the “receptor”) site-specifically anchored to an electrode via a short, flexible polypeptide linker. Interaction of the receptor with its binding partner alters the efficiency with which the reporter approaches the electrode surface, thus causing a change in redox current upon voltammetric interrogation. As our first proof-of-principle we employed the bacterial chemotaxis protein CheY as our receptor. Interaction with either of CheY’s two binding partners, the P2 domain of the chemotaxis kinase, CheA, or the 16-residue “target region” of the flagellar switch protein, FliM, leads to easily measurable changes in output current that trace Langmuir isotherms within error of those seen in solution. Phosphorylation of the electrode-bound CheY decreases its affinity for CheA-P2 and enhances its affinity for FliM in a manner likewise consistent with its behavior in solution. As expected given the proposed sensor signaling mechanism, the magnitude of the binding-induced signal change depends on the placement of the redox reporter on the receptor. Following these preliminary studies with CheY, we also developed and characterized additional sensors aimed at the detection of specific antibodies using the relevant protein antigens as the receptor. These exhibit excellent detection limits for their targets without the use of reagents or wash steps. This novel, protein-based electrochemical sensing architecture provides a new and potentially promising approach to sensors for the single-step measurement of specific proteins and peptides.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.7b05953

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b05953

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