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Proceedings Paper

A novel biosensor for mercuric ions based on motor proteins
Author(s): R. Martinez; Murat Kekic; Vlado Buljan; Dan V. Nicolau; Cristobal G. dos Remedios
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Paper Abstract

We explored the potential for use of the contractile proteins, actin and myosin, as biosensors of solutions containing mercury ions. We demonstrate that the reaction of HgCl2 with myosin rapidly inhibits actin-activated myosin ATPase activity. Mercuric ions inhibit the in vitro analog of contraction, namely the ATP-initiated superprecipitation of the reconstituted actomyosin complex. Hg reduces both the rate and extent of this reaction. Direct observation of the propulsive movement of actin filaments (10 nm in diameter and 1 μm long) in a motility assay driven by a proteolytic fragment of myosin (heavy meromyosin or HMM) is also inhibited by mercuric ions. Thus, we have demonstrated the biochemical, biophysical and nanotechnological basis of what may prove to be a useful nano-device.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 March 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5275, BioMEMS and Nanotechnology, (29 March 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.548363
Show Author Affiliations
R. Martinez, Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Murat Kekic, Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Vlado Buljan, Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Dan V. Nicolau, Swinburne Univ. of Technology (Australia)
Cristobal G. dos Remedios, Univ. of Sydney (Australia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5275:
BioMEMS and Nanotechnology
Dan V. Nicolau; Uwe R. Muller; John M. Dell, Editor(s)

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