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Proceedings Paper

Effects of high external electric fields on protein conformation
Author(s): Pier Paolo Pompa; Alessandro Bramanti; Giuseppe Maruccio; Loretta Laureana del Mercato; Rocco Chiuri; Roberto Cingolani; Ross Rinaldi
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Paper Abstract

Resistance of biomolecules to high electric fields is a main concern for nanobioelectronics/nanobiosensing applications, and it is also a relevant issue from a fundamental perspective, to understand the dielectric properties and structural dynamics of proteins. In nanoscale devices, biomolecules may experience electric fields as high as 107 V/m in order to elicit charge transport/transfer. Understanding the effects of such fields on their structural integrity is thus crucial to assess the reliability of biomolecular devices. In this study, we show experimental evidence for the retention of native-like fold pattern by proteins embedded in high electric fields. We have tested the metalloprotein azurin, deposited onto SiO2 substrates in air with proper electrode configuration, by applying high static electric fields (up to 106-107 V/m). The effects on the conformational properties of protein molecules have been determined by means of intrinsic fluorescence measurements. Experimental results indicate that no significant field-induced conformational alteration occurs. This behavior is also discussed and supported by theoretical predictions of the intrinsic intra-protein electric fields. As the general features of such inner fields are not peculiar of azurin, the conclusions presented here should have general validity.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 June 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5838, Nanotechnology II, (28 June 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.607725
Show Author Affiliations
Pier Paolo Pompa, Univ. di Lecce (Italy)
Istituto Superiore Universitario per la Formazione Interdisciplinare (Italy)
Alessandro Bramanti, Univ. di Lecce (Italy)
Giuseppe Maruccio, Univ. di Lecce (Italy)
Loretta Laureana del Mercato, Univ. di Lecce (Italy)
Istituto Superiore Universitario per la Formazione Interdisciplinare (Italy)
Rocco Chiuri, Univ. di Lecce (Italy)
Roberto Cingolani, Univ. di Lecce (Italy)
Ross Rinaldi, Univ. di Lecce (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5838:
Nanotechnology II
Paolo Lugli; Laszlo B. Kish; Javier Mateos, Editor(s)

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