Interplay of Affinity and Surface Tethering in Protein Recognition

Ali Imran, Brandon S. Moyer, Aaron J. Wolfe, Michael S. Cosgrove, Dmitrii E. Makarov, Liviu Movileanu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Surface-tethered ligand-receptor complexes are key components in biological signaling and adhesion. They also find increasing utility in single-molecule assays and biotechnological applications. Here, we study the real-time binding kinetics between various surface-immobilized peptide ligands and their unrestrained receptors. A long peptide tether increases the association of ligand-receptor complexes, experimentally proving the fly casting mechanism where the disorder accelerates protein recognition. On the other hand, a short peptide tether enhances the complex dissociation. Notably, the rate constants measured for the same receptor, but under different spatial constraints, are strongly correlated to one another. Furthermore, this correlation can be used to predict how surface tethering on a ligand-receptor complex alters its binding kinetics. Our results have immediate implications in the broad areas of biomolecular recognition, intrinsically disordered proteins, and biosensor technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4021-4028
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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