Orienting Macromolecule At The Air - Water Interface : DNA-Protein Interaction On Langmuir Films
The Langmuir – Blodgett (LB) technique is about forming insoluble monolayer on the surface of aqueous solution and recently, it has emerged as one of the best method to study floating monolayer at the air – water interface. It has gained popularity after the use of monolayer with chemical complexes as well as biological species, and recently it has been used for the formation of biosensors. Langmuir monolayer arrays the amphiphilic molecules in a fashion where the hydrophobic part points towards the air and the hydrophilic group remains in contact with the aqueous subphase. Due to this property of Langmuir monolayer to orient the molecules at the air – water interface in a particular fashion, it can successfully serve as a template for two – dimensional reactions with restricted freedom. Hence, Langmuir monolayer has been extensively employed to study chemical and biological reactions at the air – water interface. To understand the behavior of Langmuir monolayer, surface pressure – molecular area (P – A) isotherms are studied as these P – A isotherms illustrate general conditions regarding the phase behavior of the two-dimensional Langmuir monolayer. Any change occurring due to the alignment of aliphatic molecules forming the monolayer is reflected by the change in P – A isotherms, which is known as phase transition. The phase transition is the most important element of the P – A isotherms with a characteristic signature of a plateau region in the isotherms. This phase transition point changes with the change of certain external parameters such as temperature, pH, and ionic strength, and as a result gives general information regarding the phase transition behavior. Therefore, with the little change of external parameters, the arrangement of the molecules in the monolayer also changes, which is reflected in the change in the nature of the isotherms. Thus, the system can, in principle, be used to define several physical parameters associated with it. On account of the property of Langmuir monolayer to orient the molecules at the air – water interface with restricted mobility and due to their condensed nature known as solid like phase, it closely mimics the situation inside a biological cell. Hence, we wanted to test whether an artificial nucleus can be generated at LB films. This can be achieved by immobilizing DNA or protein at the air – water interface and then by promoting their biological properties through macromolecular recognition. Here, immobilization of a macromolecule of biological relevance, its interaction with another component of a cell and extracting the thermodynamic parameters utilizing the LB technique will be of significance. This thesis embodies the immobilization of some biologically important proteins then follows their activity as well as DNA recognition properties at the air – water interface. A set of equations are derived here for the two dimensional Langmuir monolayer, which are used to calculate the thermodynamics of the system under study. Chapter 1 outlines the information about Langmuir monolayer and LB films. It sketches the historical background of the Langmuir monolayer and also elucidates the theory behind the same. This chapter cites the technical details of formation of Langmuir monolayer and LB films viś – a – viś other methods available for the fabrication of monomolecular films. It adequately discusses the functional LB films and their utilization for various different purposes. Finally, the role of metal ions in the LB films and in immobilizing biological macromolecules is discussed. Chapter 2 discusses the different techniques employed to perform the experiments described in this thesis. It includes the purification methods for the different proteins and DNA; the details of formation of Langmuir monolayer and fabrication of LB films. This chapter also describes the various techniques used for the characterization of the LB films, i.e Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. In Chapter 3, immobilization and imaging of protein molecules and protein DNA complexes on a LB substrate have been explored. Firstly, we describe the preparation of a Ni (II) – arachidate (NiA) monolayer and its characterization through P – A isotherm on a LB trough. Then, recombinant RNA polymerase from Escherichia coli, where the largest subunit was replaced with the same gene having a series of histidine amino acids at the C-terminus end of the protein, was immobilized over the NiA monolayer through a Ni (II) – histidine interaction. A single molecule of RNA polymerase (RNAP) could be seen through intermittent-contact AFM. Under the condition of the formation of the LB monolayer, the enzyme molecules were arrayed and transcriptionally active. Interestingly, they could pick up sequence specific DNA molecules from the subphase in an oriented fashion. In Chapter 4, the interaction between NiA and histidine tagged RNAP (HisRNAP), and RNAP and DNA were studied. LB films of Arachidic acid – NiA, NiA -HisRNAP and NiA – HisRNAP – DNA with different mole fractions were fabricated systematically. P -A isotherms were registered, and the excess Gibbs energy of mixing was calculated. The LB films were then deposited on solid supports for FTIR spectroscopic measurements. The FTIR spectra revealed the change in the amount of incorporated Ni (II) ions into the AA monolayer with the change in pH. The increase in mole fraction of RNAP and DNA in the NiA and NiA – RNAP monolayer, respectively, with their increasing concentration in the subphase are also noticed. The system developed here is robust and can be utilized to follow macromolecular interactions. In chapter 5, the Langmuir monolayer has been utilized to array a protein, Dps, specific for Fe (II) and non-specific for DNA. Dps from Mycobacterium smegmatis is known to have a cage like structure, exists in two oligomeric states, trimer and dodecamer, and can accommodate Fe (II) ions in its internal cavity. In addition, it converts Fe (II) to Fe (III), both in trimeric and dodecameric form, whereas the latter species is specific for non-specific DNA binding. We demonstrate here that, histidine tagged Dps in both oligomeric states can be immobilized on NiA LB films, where both ferroxidation and DNA binding ability remained unaffected in the ordered protein assembly. Interestingly, when Fe (II) – arachidate was used to generate a LB layer instead of NiA, Dps protein not only recognizes Fe (II) ion in the monolayer, it also converts it to Fe (III) ion in a time dependent fashion. However, once Fe (III) – Dps complex is formed and arrayed on LB monolayers, it remains very stable.
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