Publication details

Do conformational changes contribute to the surface plasmon resonance signal?



Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Biosensors and Bioelectronics
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Surface plasmon resonance; Conformational change; G-quadruplex; Refractive index increment; Thrombin binding aptamer
Description Surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based biosensors are widely used instruments for characterizing molecular interactions. In theory the SPR signal depends only on mass changes for interacting molecules of same chemical nature. Whether conformational changes of interacting molecules also contribute to the SPR signal is still a subject of lively debates. Works have been published claiming that conformational changes were detected but all factors contributing to the SPR signal were not carefully considered, in addition to often using no or improper controls. In the present work we used a very well-characterized oligonucleotide, the thrombin-binding DNA aptamer (TBA), which upon binding of potassium ions folds into a two G-tetrad antiparallel G-quadruplex structure. All terms contributing to the maximal expected SPR response, Rmax, in particular the refractive index increment, RII, of both partners and the fraction of immobilized TBA target available, ca, were experimentally assessed. The resulting Rmax was then compared to the maximal experimental SPR response for potassium ions binding to TBA using appropriate controls. Regardless how the RIIs were measured, by SPR or refractometry, and how much TBA available for interacting with potassium ions was considered, the theoretical and the experi-mental SPR responses never matched, the former being always lower than the latter. Using a straightforward experimental model system and by thoroughly taking into account all contributing factors we therefore conclude that conformational changes can indeed contribute to the measured SPR signal.

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