Ubiquitin immobilized on mesoporous MCM41 silica surfaces - analysis by solid-state NMR with biophysical and surface characterization

Nurit Adiram-Filiba, Avital Schremer, Eli Ohaion, Merav Nadav-Tsubery, Tammi Lublin-Tennenbaum, Keren Keinan-Adamsky, Gil Goobes

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12 Scopus citations


Deriving the conformation of adsorbed proteins is important in the assessment of their functional activity when immobilized. This has particularly important bearings on the design of contemporary and new encapsulated enzyme-based drugs, biosensors, and other bioanalytical devices. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements can expand our molecular view of proteins in this state and of the molecular interactions governing protein immobilization on popular biocompatible surfaces such as silica. Here, the authors study the immobilization of ubiquitin on the mesoporous silica MCM41 by NMR and other techniques. Protein molecules are shown to bind efficiently at pH 5 through electrostatic interactions to individual MCM41 particles, causing their agglutination. The strong attraction of ubiquitin to MCM41 surface is given molecular context through evidence of proximity of basic, carbonyl and polar groups on the protein to groups on the silica surface using NMR measurements. The immobilized protein exhibits broad peaks in twodimensional 13C dipolar-assisted rotational resonance spectra, an indication of structural multiplicity. At the same time, cross-peaks related to Tyr and Phe sidechains are missing due to motional averaging. Overall, the favorable adsorption of ubiquitin to MCM41 is accompanied by conformational heterogeneity and by a major loss of motional degrees of freedom as inferred from the marked entropy decrease. Nevertheless, local motions of the aromatic rings are retained in the immobilized state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number02D414
Issue number2
StatePublished - 31 May 2017

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© 2017 American Vacuum Society.


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