Streptavidin 2D crystal substrates for visualizing biomolecular processes by atomic force microscopy
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Flat substrate surfaces are a key to successful imaging of biological macromolecules by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Although usable substrate surfaces have been prepared for still imaging of immobilized molecules, surfaces that are more suitable have recently been required for dynamic imaging to accompany the progress of the scan speed of AFM. In fact, the stateof-the-art high-speed AFM has achieved temporal resolution of 30 ms, a capacity allowing us to trace molecular processes played by biological macromolecules. Here, we characterize three types of streptavidin two-dimensional crystals as substrates, concerning their qualities of surface roughness, uniformity, stability, and resistance to nonspecific protein adsorption. These crystal surfaces are commonly resistant to nonspecific protein adsorption, but exhibit differences in other properties to some extent. These differences must be taken into consideration, but these crystal surfaces are still useful for dynamic AFM imaging, as demonstrated by observation of calcium-induced changes in calmodulin, GroES binding to GroEL, and actin polymerization on the surfaces. © 2009 by the Biophysical Society.
- Biophysical Journal
Biophysical Journal 97(8), 2358-2367, 2009-10-21