Single-molecule recognition of biomolecular interaction via Kelvin probe force microscopy
Yong-Min Huh ; Jinsung Park ; Taeyun Kwon ; Kilho Eom ; Dae Sung Yoon ; Seungjoo Haam ; Sang Woo Lee ; Sungsoo Na ; Chang Young Lee ; Gyudo Lee ; Jaemoon Yang
ACS Nano, Vol.5(9) : 6981~6990, 2011
We report the scanning probe microscope (SPM)-based single-molecule recognition of biomolecular interactions between protein kinase and small ligands (i.e., ATP and Imatinib). In general, it is difficult to sense and detect the small ligands bound to protein kinase (at single-molecule resolution) using a conventional atomic force microscope (AFM) due to the limited resolution of conventional AFM for detecting the miniscule changes in molecular size driven by ligand binding. In this study, we have demonstrated that Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) is able to articulate the surface potential of biomolecules interacting with ligands (i.e., the protein kinase-ATP interactions and inhibition phenomena induced by antagonistic molecules) in a label-free manner. Furthermore, measured surface potentials for biomolecular interactions enable quantitative descriptions on the ability of protein kinase to interact with small ligands such as ATP or antagonistic molecules. Our study sheds light on KPFM that allows the precise recognition of single-molecule interactions, which opens a new avenue for the design and development of novel molecular therapeutics.