The ability of biophysicists to decipher the behavior of individual biomolecules has steadily improved over the past thirty years. However, it still remains unclear how an ensemble of data acquired at the single-molecule level compares with the data acquired on an ensemble of the same molecules. We here propose an assay to tackle this question in the context of dissociation equilibrium constant measurements. A sensor is built by engrafting a receptor and a ligand onto a flexible dsDNA scaffold and mounting this assembly on magnetic tweezers. This way, looking at the position of the magnetic bead enables one to determine in real-time if the two molecular partners are associated or not. Next, to quantify the affinity of the scrutinized single-receptor for a given competitor, various amounts of the latter molecule are introduced in solution and the equilibrium response of the sensor is monitored throughout the titration protocol. Proofs of concept are established for the binding of three rapamycin analogs to the FKBP12 cis-trans prolyl isomerase. For each of these drugs the mean affinity constant obtained on a ten of individual receptors agrees with the one previously determined in a bulk assay. Furthermore, experimental contingencies are sufficient to explain the dispersion observed over the single-molecule values.

Full Text
Published version (Free)

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call