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Title: Sequence-defined Energetic Shifts Control the Disassembly Kinetics and Microstructure of Amelogenin Adsorbed onto Hydroxyapatite (100)

The interactions between proteins and surfaces are critical to a number of important processes including biomineralization, the biocompatibility of biomaterials, and the function of biosensors. Although many proteins exist as monomers or small oligomers, amelogenin is a unique protein that self-assembles into supramolecular structures called “nanospheres,” aggregates of 100’s of monomers that are 20-60 nm in diameter. The nanosphere quaternary structure is observed in solution, however, the quaternary structure of amelogenin adsorbed onto hydroxyapatite (HAP) surfaces is not known even though it may be important to amelogenin’s function in forming highly elongated and intricately assembled HAP crystallites during enamel formation. We report studies of the interactions of the enamel protein, amelogenin (rpM179), with a well-defined (100) face prepared by synthesis of large crystals of HAP. High resolution, in-situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to directly observe protein adsorption onto HAP at the molecular level within an aqueous solution environment. Our study shows that the amelogenin nanospheres disassemble onto the HAP surface, breaking down into oligomeric (25-mer) subunits of the larger nanosphere. In some cases, the disassembly event is directly observed by in situ imaging for the first time. Quantification of the adsorbate amounts by size analysis led to themore » determination of a protein binding energy (17.1 kbT) to a specific face of HAP (100). The kinetics of disassembly are greatly slowed in aged solutions, indicating there are time-dependent increases in oligomer-oligomer binding interactions within the nanosphere. A small change in the sequence of amelogenin by the attachment of a histidine tag to the N-terminus of rpM179 to form rp(H)M180 results in the adsorption of a complete second layer on top of the underlying first layer. Our research elucidates how supramolecular protein structures interact and break down at surfaces and how small changes in the primary sequence of amelogenin can affect the disassembly process.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0743-7463; 41891; 47735; 44691; 48235; 400412000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Langmuir; Journal Volume: 31; Journal Issue: 38
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
biomineralization; amelogenin; AFM; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory