Navigation Links
Photonic crystal biosensors detect protein-DNA interactions

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Scientists at the University of Illinois have developed a new class of disposable, microplate-based optical biosensors capable of detecting protein-DNA interactions. Based on the properties of photonic crystals, the biosensors are suitable for the rapid identification of inhibitors of protein-nucleic acid and protein-protein interactions.

"Protein-DNA interactions are essential for fundamental cellular processes such as transcription, DNA damage repair and apoptosis," said Paul Hergenrother, a professor of chemistry and an affiliate of the university's Institute for Genomic Biology. "Screening for compounds that inhibit particular kinds of protein-DNA binding is a very important step in drug development."

Developed by Brian Cunningham, a U. of I. professor of electrical and computer engineering, the photonic crystal biosensors consist of a low-refractive-index polymer grating coated with a film of high-refractive-index titanium oxide, attached to the bottom of a standard 384-well microplate. Each well functions as a tiny test tube with a biosensor in the bottom.

"First, we selectively attach a biomolecule, such as DNA, to the bottom of each well. Then we see how that biomolecule interacts with other molecules, including drugs," said Cunningham, who also is affiliated with the university's Beckman Institute, Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, and Institute for Genomic Biology.

By examining the light reflected from the photonic crystal, the researchers can tell when molecules are added to, or removed from, the crystal surface. The measurement technique can be used, for example, in a high-throughput screening mode to rapidly identify molecules and compounds that prevent DNA-protein binding.

The researchers demonstrated the new technology by examining two very different protein-DNA interactions. The first was the bacterial toxin-antitoxin system MazEF, which binds to DNA in a sequence-specific manner and is thought to be responsible for the maintenance of resistance-encoding plasmids in certain infectious bacteria. The second was the human apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF), a protein that binds to chromosomal DNA in a DNA-sequence-independent manner.

The photonic crystal biosensor technology was further utilized in a screen for inhibitors of the AIF-DNA interaction, and through this screen aurin tricarboxylic acid was identified as the first in vitro inhibitor of AIF.

"Aurin tricarboxylic acid displayed about 80 percent inhibition of AIF-DNA binding," Hergenrother said. "Aurin tricarboxylic acid was the only compound to exhibit significant inhibition out of approximately 1,000 compounds screened."

While the photonic crystal biosensor was demonstrated only for protein-DNA interactions, analogous experiments with protein-RNA interactions, and protein-protein interactions are also possible, Cunningham said. "We also could grow cancer cells on the photonic crystal surface, and see how different drugs affect cell growth."


Contact: James E. Kloeppel
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Related biology news :

1. The photonic beetle
2. Scientists demonstrate the sharpest measurement of ice crystals in clouds
3. Crystal (eye) ball: Study says visual system equipped with future seeing powers
4. New clues to how proteins dissolve and crystallize
5. Scientists find missing evolutionary link using tiny fungus crystal
6. Liquid crystal phases of tiny DNA molecules point up new scenario for first life on Earth
7. Unveiling the structure of microcrystals
8. Researchers develop liquid crystal pharmaceuticals to fight cancer and other diseases
9. Enzyme detectives uncover new reactions, products
10. Researchers study facial structures, brain abnormalities to reveal formula for detection of autism
11. Best code for disease detection, bar none
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for ... Embossed Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure ... leader in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. ... January, however Decatur was selected for ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... 2016 Favorable Government Initiatives Coupled ... Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market Through ... Research report, " Global Biometrics Market By Type, ... Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market is ... account of growing security concerns across various end use ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... , May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC ... today announced the opening of an IoT Center of ... strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris biometric ... unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched biometric ... one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Peel Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute ... platform of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the ... at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application ... team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. β€œIn further expanding our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 On ... session at 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average ... 500 closed at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. has initiated coverage ... INFI ), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez ... Inc. (NASDAQ: BIND ). Learn more about these ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 adds ... to its pharmaceuticals section with historic and forecast ... much more. Complete report on the ... profiling 15 companies and supported with 261 tables ... . The Global Cell Culture ...
Breaking Biology Technology: