Center for Advanced Bioanalysis

Linz, Austria

Center for Advanced Bioanalysis

Linz, Austria

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Neundlinger I.,Johannes Kepler University | Poturnayova A.,Slovak Academy of Sciences | Karpisova I.,Comenius University | Rankl C.,Agilent Technologies | And 6 more authors.
Biophysical Journal | Year: 2011

Thrombin aptamer binding strength and stability is dependent on sterical parameters when used for atomic force microscopy sensing applications. Sterical improvements on the linker chemistry were developed for high-affinity binding. For this we applied single molecule force spectroscopy using two enhanced biotinylated thrombin aptamers, BFF and BFA immobilized on the atomic force microscopy tip via streptavidin. BFF is a dimer composed of two single-stranded aptamers (aptabody) connected to each other by a complementary sequence close to the biotinylated end. In contrast, BFA consists of a single DNA strand and a complementary strand in the supporting biotinylated part. By varying the pulling velocity in force-distance cycles the formed thrombin-aptamer complexes were ruptured at different force loadings allowing determination of the energy landscape. As a result, BFA aptamer showed a higher binding force at the investigated loading rates and a significantly lower dissociation rate constant, k off, compared to BFF. Moreover, the potential of the aptabody BFF to form a bivalent complex could clearly be demonstrated. © 2011 Biophysical Society.


Wildling L.,Johannes Kepler University | Unterauer B.,Christian Doppler Laboratory | Zhu R.,Johannes Kepler University | Rupprecht A.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | And 10 more authors.
Bioconjugate Chemistry | Year: 2011

The measuring tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) can be upgraded to a specific biosensor by attaching one or a few biomolecules to the apex of the tip. The biofunctionalized tip is then used to map cognate target molecules on a sample surface or to study biophysical parameters of interaction with the target molecules. The functionality of tip-bound sensor molecules is greatly enhanced if they are linked via a thin, flexible polymer chain. In a typical scheme of tip functionalization, reactive groups are first generated on the tip surface, a bifunctional cross-linker is then attached with one of its two reactive ends, and finally the probe molecule of interest is coupled to the free end of the cross-linker. Unfortunately, the most popular functional group generated on the tip surface is the amino group, while at the same time, the only useful coupling functions of many biomolecules (such as antibodies) are also NH2 groups. In the past, various tricks or detours were applied to minimize the undesired bivalent reaction of bifunctional linkers with adjacent NH2 groups on the tip surface. In the present study, an uncompromising solution to this problem was found with the help of a new cross-linker ("acetal-PEG-NHS") which possesses one activated carboxyl group and one acetal-protected benzaldehyde function. The activated carboxyl ensures rapid unilateral attachment to the amino-functionalized tip, and only then is the terminal acetal group converted into the amino-reactive benzaldehyde function by mild treatment (1% citric acid, 1-10 min) which does not harm the AFM tip. As an exception, AFM tips with magnetic coating become demagnetized in 1% citric acid. This problem was solved by deprotecting the acetal group before coupling the PEG linker to the AFM tip. Bivalent binding of the corresponding linker ("aldehyde-PEG-NHS") to adjacent NH2 groups on the tip was largely suppressed by high linker concentrations. In this way, magnetic AFM tips could be functionalized with an ethylene diamine derivative of ATP which showed specific interaction with mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) that had been purified and reconstituted in a mica-supported planar lipid bilayer. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Chtcheglova L.A.,Center for Advanced Bioanalysis | Hinterdorfer P.,Center for Advanced Bioanalysis | Hinterdorfer P.,Johannes Kepler University
Journal of Molecular Recognition | Year: 2011

Determining the landscape of specific binding sites on biological samples with high spatial accuracy (in the order of several nanometres) is an important task in many fields of biological science. During the past five years, dynamic recognition imaging (e.g. simultaneous topography and recognition (TREC) imaging) has proven to be a powerful technique in biophysical research. This technique becomes an indispensable tool for high-resolution receptor mapping as it has been successfully demonstrated on different biomolecular model systems. In these studies, the topographical imaging of receptor molecules is combined with molecular recognition by their cognate ligands bound to the atomic force microscope (AFM) tip via a flexible and distensible tether. In this review, we describe the principles of TREC imaging and provide a flavour of its recent application on endothelial cells. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Mahut M.,University of Vienna | Haller E.,University of Vienna | Ghazidezfuli P.,University of Vienna | Leitner M.,Johannes Kepler University | And 6 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2012

Recognizing pDNA supercoils: Differently supercoiled species of the same plasmid DNA can be separated by topology-selective chromatography. Two-dimensional HPLC proved that the supercoiling changes during fermentation. Thus, a new quality criterium might help to optimize the effectivity of future genetic drugs and vaccines. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Rangl M.,Johannes Kepler University | Leitner M.,Johannes Kepler University | Riihimaki T.,University of Tampere | Lehtonen S.,University of Tampere | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Recognition | Year: 2014

Molecular recognition force spectroscopy, a biosensing atomic force microscopy technique allows to characterise the dissociation of ligand-receptor complexes at the molecular level. Here, we used molecular recognition force spectroscopy to study the binding capability of recently developed testosterone binders. The two avidin-based proteins called sbAvd-1 and sbAvd-2 are expected to bind both testosterone and biotin but differ in their binding behaviour towards these ligands. To explore the ligand binding and dissociation energy landscape of these proteins, we tethered biotin or testosterone to the atomic force microscopy probe while the testosterone-binding protein was immobilized on the surface. Repeated formation and rupture of the ligand-receptor complex at different pulling velocities allowed determination of the loading rate dependence of the complex-rupturing force. In this way, we obtained the molecular dissociation rate (koff) and energy landscape distances (xβ) of the four possible complexes: sbAvd-1-biotin, sbAvd-1-testosterone, sbAvd-2-biotin and sbAvd-2-testosterone. It was found that the kinetic off-rates for both proteins and both ligands are similar. In contrast, the xβ values, as well as the probability of complex formations, varied considerably. In addition, competitive binding experiments with biotin and testosterone in solution differ significantly for the two testosterone-binding proteins, implying a decreased cross-reactivity of sbAvd-2. Unravelling the binding behaviour of the investigated testosterone-binding proteins is expected to improve their usability for possible sensing applications. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Oh Y.J.,Johannes Kepler University | Hubauer-Brenner M.,Center for Advanced Bioanalysis | Hinterdorfer P.,Johannes Kepler University | Hinterdorfer P.,Center for Advanced Bioanalysis
Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology | Year: 2015

In this study, the physical properties of transition metal oxide surfaces were examined using scanning probe microscopic (SPM) techniques for elucidating the antimicrobial activity of molybdenum trioxide (MoO3), tungsten trioxide (WO3), and zinc oxide (ZnO) embedded into the polymers thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polypropylene (PP). We utilized atomic force microscopy (AFM) in the contact imaging mode and its derivative single-pass Kelvin probe force microscopy for investigating samples that were presumably identical in their compositions, but showed different antimicrobial activity in bacterial adhesion tests. Our results revealed that surfaces with larger roughness and higher surface potential variation showed stronger antimicrobial activities compared to smoother and homogeneously charge-distributed surfaces. In addition, capacitance gradient (dC/dZ) measurements were performed to elucidate the antimicrobial activity arising from the different dielectric behavior of the transition metal oxides in this heterogeneous polymer surface. We found that the nano-scale exposure of transition metal oxides on polymer surfaces provided strong antimicrobial effects. Applications arising from our studies will be useful for public and healthcare environments. Copyright © 2015 American Scientific Publishers All rights reserved.


Oh Y.J.,Johannes Kepler University | Sekot G.,University of Vienna | Sekot G.,Austrian Center of Industrial Biotechnology | Duman M.,Johannes Kepler University | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Recognition | Year: 2013

Tannerella forsythia is among the most potent triggers of periodontal diseases, and approaches to understand underlying mechanisms are currently intensively pursued. A ~22-nm-thick, 2D crystalline surface (S-) layer that completely covers Tannerella forsythia cells is crucially involved in the bacterium-host cross-talk. The S-layer is composed of two intercalating glycoproteins (TfsA-GP, TfsB-GP) that are aligned into a periodic lattice. To characterize this unique S-layer structure at the nanometer scale directly on intact T. forsythia cells, three complementary methods, i.e., small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and single-molecular force spectroscopy (SMFS), were applied. SAXS served as a difference method using signals from wild-type and S-layer-deficient cells for data evaluation, revealing two possible models for the assembly of the glycoproteins. Direct high-resolution imaging of the outer surface of T. forsythia wild-type cells by AFM revealed a p4 structure with a lattice constant of ~9.0 nm. In contrast, on mutant cells, no periodic lattice could be visualized. Additionally, SMFS was used to probe specific interaction forces between an anti-TfsA antibody coupled to the AFM tip and the S-layer as present on T. forsythia wild-type and mutant cells, displaying TfsA-GP alone. Unbinding forces between the antibody and wild-type cells were greater than with mutant cells. This indicated that the TfsA-GP is not so strongly attached to the mutant cell surface when the co-assembling TfsB-GP is missing. Altogether, the data gained from SAXS, AFM, and SMFS confirm the current model of the S-layer architecture with two intercalating S-layer glycoproteins and TfsA-GP being mainly outwardly oriented. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Preiner J.,Center for Advanced Bioanalysis | Preiner J.,Johannes Kepler University | Kodera N.,Kanazawa University | Tang J.,CAS Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry | And 8 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2014

Binding of antibodies to their cognate antigens is fundamental for adaptive immunity. Molecular engineering of antibodies for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes emerges to be one of the major technologies in combating many human diseases. Despite its importance, a detailed description of the nanomechanical process of antibody-antigen binding and dissociation on the molecular level is lacking. Here we utilize high-speed atomic force microscopy to examine the dynamics of antibody recognition and uncover a principle; antibodies do not remain stationary on surfaces of regularly spaced epitopes; they rather exhibit 'bipedal' stochastic walking. As monovalent Fab fragments do not move, steric strain is identified as the origin of short-lived bivalent binding. Walking antibodies gather in transient clusters that might serve as docking sites for the complement system and/or phagocytes. Our findings could inspire the rational design of antibodies and multivalent receptors to exploit/inhibit steric strain-induced dynamic effects. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Schlapak R.,Center for Advanced Bioanalysis | Danzberger J.,Johannes Kepler University | Armitage D.,De Montfort University | Morgan D.,University of Cardiff | And 7 more authors.
Small | Year: 2012

The bottom-up approach of DNA nano-biotechnology can create biomaterials with defined properties relevant for a wide range of applications. This report describes nanoscale DNA tetrahedra that are beneficial to the field of biosensing and the targeted immobilization of biochemical receptors on substrate surfaces. The DNA nanostructures act as immobilization agents that are able to present individual molecules at a defined nanoscale distance to the solvent thereby improving biomolecular recognition of analytes. The tetrahedral display devices are self-assembled from four oligonucleotides. Three of the four tetrahedron vertices are equipped with disulfide groups to enable oriented binding to gold surfaces. The fourth vertex at the top of the bound tetrahedron presents the biomolecular receptor to the solvent. In assays testing the molecular accessibility via DNA hybridization and protein capturing, tetrahedron-tethered receptors outperformed conventional immobilization approaches with regard to specificity and amount of captured polypeptide by a factor of up to seven. The bottom-up strategy of creating DNA tetrahedrons is also compatible with the top-down route of nanopatterning of inorganic substrates, as demonstrated by the specific coating of micro- to nanoscale gold squares amid surrounding blank or poly(ethylene glycol)-passivated glass surfaces. DNA tetrahedra can create biofunctionalized surfaces of rationally designed properties that are of relevance in analytical chemistry, cell biology, and single-molecule biophysics. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


PubMed | Johannes Kepler University, University of Tampere and Center for Advanced Bioanalysis
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) | Year: 2014

Avidin and avidin-like proteins are widely used in numerous techniques since the avidin-biotin interaction is known to be very robust and reliable. Within this study, we investigated this bond at the molecular level under harsh conditions ranging from very low to very high pH values. We compared avidin with streptavidin and a recently developed avidin-based mutant, chimeric avidin. To gain insights of the energy landscape of these interactions we used a single molecule approach and performed the Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy atomic force microscopy technique. There, the ligand (biotin) is covalently coupled to a sharp AFM tip via a distensible hetero-bi-functional crosslinker, whereas the receptor of interest is immobilized on the probe surface. Receptor-ligand complexes are formed and ruptured by repeatedly approaching and withdrawing the tip from the surface. Varying both pulling velocity and pH value, we could determine changes of the energy landscape of the complexes. Our results clearly demonstrate that avidin, streptavidin and chimeric avidin are stable over a wide pH range although we could identify differences at the outer pH range. Taking this into account, they can be used in a broad range of applications, like surface sensors at extreme pH values.

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