Issue 2, 2016

Speeding up biomolecular interactions by molecular sledding


Numerous biological processes involve association of a protein with its binding partner, an event that is preceded by a diffusion-mediated search bringing the two partners together. Often hindered by crowding in biologically relevant environments, three-dimensional diffusion can be slow and result in long bimolecular association times. Similarly, the initial association step between two binding partners often represents a rate-limiting step in biotechnologically relevant reactions. We demonstrate the practical use of an 11-a.a. DNA-interacting peptide derived from adenovirus to reduce the dimensionality of diffusional search processes and speed up associations between biological macromolecules. We functionalize binding partners with the peptide and demonstrate that the ability of the peptide to one-dimensionally diffuse along DNA results in a 20-fold reduction in reaction time. We also show that modifying PCR primers with the peptide sled enables significant acceleration of standard PCR reactions.

Graphical abstract: Speeding up biomolecular interactions by molecular sledding

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Edge Article
18 Aug 2015
06 Oct 2015
First published
07 Oct 2015
This article is Open Access

All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Creative Commons BY license

Chem. Sci., 2016,7, 916-920

Author version available

Speeding up biomolecular interactions by molecular sledding

A. Turkin, L. Zhang, A. Marcozzi, W. F. Mangel, A. Herrmann and A. M. van Oijen, Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 916 DOI: 10.1039/C5SC03063C

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity