skip to main content


Title: Leveraging Isothermal Titration Calorimetry to Explore Structure–Property Relationships of Protein Immobilization in Metal–Organic Frameworks
Abstract

Proteins immobilized in metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) often show extraordinary stability. However, most efforts to immobilize proteins in MOFs have only been exploratory. Herein, we present the first systematic study on the thermodynamics of protein immobilization in MOFs. Using insulin as a probe, we leveraged isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) to investigate how topology, pore size, and hydrophobicity of MOFs influence immobilization. ITC data obtained from the encapsulation of insulin in a series of Zr‐MOFs reveals that MOFs provide proteins with a hydrophobic stabilizing microenvironment, making the encapsulation entropically driven. In particular, the pyrene‐based NU‐1000 tightly encapsulates insulin in its ideally sized mesopores and stabilizes insulin through π‐π stacking interactions, resulting in the most enthalpically favored encapsulation process among this series. This study reveals critical insights into the structure–property relationships of protein immobilization.

 
more » « less
NSF-PAR ID:
10370982
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Angewandte Chemie
Volume:
134
Issue:
37
ISSN:
0044-8249
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Proteins immobilized in metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) often show extraordinary stability. However, most efforts to immobilize proteins in MOFs have only been exploratory. Herein, we present the first systematic study on the thermodynamics of protein immobilization in MOFs. Using insulin as a probe, we leveraged isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) to investigate how topology, pore size, and hydrophobicity of MOFs influence immobilization. ITC data obtained from the encapsulation of insulin in a series of Zr‐MOFs reveals that MOFs provide proteins with a hydrophobic stabilizing microenvironment, making the encapsulation entropically driven. In particular, the pyrene‐based NU‐1000 tightly encapsulates insulin in its ideally sized mesopores and stabilizes insulin through π‐π stacking interactions, resulting in the most enthalpically favored encapsulation process among this series. This study reveals critical insights into the structure–property relationships of protein immobilization.

     
    more » « less
  2. Keskin, Ozlem (Ed.)
    Multistep protein-protein interactions underlie most biological processes, but their characterization through methods such as isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) is largely confined to simple models that provide little information on the intermediate, individual steps. In this study, we primarily examine the essential hub protein LC8, a small dimer that binds disordered regions of 100+ client proteins in two symmetrical grooves at the dimer interface. Mechanistic details of LC8 binding have remained elusive, hampered in part by ITC data analyses employing simple models that treat bivalent binding as a single event with a single binding affinity. We build on existing Bayesian ITC approaches to quantify thermodynamic parameters for multi-site binding interactions impacted by significant uncertainty in protein concentration. Using a two-site binding model, we identify positive cooperativity with high confidence for LC8 binding to multiple client peptides. In contrast, application of an identical model to the two-site binding between the coiled-coil NudE dimer and the intermediate chain of dynein reveals little evidence of cooperativity. We propose that cooperativity in the LC8 system drives the formation of saturated induced-dimer structures, the functional units of most LC8 complexes. In addition to these system-specific findings, our work advances general ITC analysis in two ways. First, we describe a previously unrecognized mathematical ambiguity in concentrations in standard binding models and clarify how it impacts the precision with which binding parameters are determinable in cases of high uncertainty in analyte concentrations. Second, building on observations in the LC8 system, we develop a system-agnostic heat map of practical parameter identifiability calculated from synthetic data which demonstrates that the ability to determine microscopic binding parameters is strongly dependent on both the parameters themselves and experimental conditions. The work serves as a foundation for determination of multi-step binding interactions, and we outline best practices for Bayesian analysis of ITC experiments. 
    more » « less
  3. Carbohydrate-based low molecular weight gelators (LMWGs) are compounds with the capability to self-assemble into complex molecular networks within a solvent, leading to solvent immobilization. This process of gel formation depends on noncovalent interactions, including Van der Waals, hydrogen bonding, and π–π stacking. Due to their potential applications in environmental remediation, drug delivery, and tissue engineering, these molecules have emerged as an important area of research. In particular, various 4,6-O-benzylidene acetal-protected D-glucosamine derivatives have shown promising gelation abilities. In this study, a series of C-2-carbamate derivatives containing a para-methoxy benzylidene acetal functional group were synthesized and characterized. These compounds exhibited good gelation properties in several organic solvents and aqueous mixtures. Upon removal of the acetal functional group under acidic conditions, a number of deprotected free sugar derivatives were also synthesized. Analysis of these free sugar derivatives revealed two compounds were hydrogelators while their precursors did not form hydrogels. For those protected carbamates that are hydrogelators, removal of the 4,6-protection will result in a more water-soluble compound that produces a transition from gel to solution. Given the ability of these compounds to form gels from solution or solution from gels in situ in response to acidic environments, these compounds may have practical applications as stimuli-responsive gelators in an aqueous medium. In turn, one hydrogelator was studied for the encapsulation and release of naproxen and chloroquine. The hydrogel exhibited sustained drug release over a period of several days, with the release of chloroquine being faster at lower pH due to the acid lability of the gelator molecule. The synthesis, characterization, gelation properties, and studies on drug diffusion are discussed.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Immobilization of biomolecules into porous materials could lead to significantly enhanced performance in terms of stability towards harsh reaction conditions and easier separation for their reuse. Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), offering unique structural features, have emerged as a promising platform for immobilizing large biomolecules. Although many indirect methods have been used to investigate the immobilized biomolecules for diverse applications, understanding their spatial arrangement in the pores of MOFs is still preliminary due to the difficulties in directly monitoring their conformations. To gain insights into the spatial arrangement of biomolecules within the nanopores. We used in situ small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) to probe deuterated green fluorescent protein (d-GFP) entrapped in a mesoporous MOF. Our work revealed that GFP molecules are spatially arranged in adjacent nanosized cavities of MOF-919 to form “assembly” through adsorbate-adsorbate interactions across pore apertures. Our findings, therefore, lay a crucial foundation for the identification of proteins structural basics under confinement environment of MOFs.

     
    more » « less
  5. Farha, Omar (Ed.)
    Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) are advanced platforms for enzyme immobilization. Enzymes can be entrapped via either diffusion (into pre-formed MOFs) or co-crystallization. Enzyme co-crystallization with specific metals/ligands in the aqueous phase, also known as biomineralization, minimizes the enzyme loss as compared to organic phase co-crystallization, removes the size limitation on enzymes and substrates, and can potentially broaden the application of enzyme@MOF composites. However, not all enzymes are stable/functional in the presence of excess metal ions and/or ligands currently available for co-crystallization. Furthermore, most current biomineralization-based MOFs have limited (acid-) pH stability, making it necessary to explore other metal-ligand combinations that can also immobilize enzymes. Here, we report our discovery on the combination of five metal ions and two ligands that can form biocomposites with two model enzymes differing in size and hydrophobicity in the aqueous phase under ambient conditions. Surprisingly, most of the formed composites are single- or multi- phase crystals even though the reaction phase is aqueous, with the rest as amorphous powders. All 20 enzyme@MOF composites showed good to excellent reusability, and were stable under weakly acidic pHs. The stability under weakly basic conditions depended on the selection of enzyme and metal-ligand combinations, yet for both enzymes, 3-4 MOFs offered decent stability under basic conditions. This work initiates the expansion of the current “library” of metal-ligand selection for encapsulating/biomineralizing large enzymes/enzyme clusters, leading to customized encapsulation of enzymes according to enzymes stability, functionality, and optimal pH. 
    more » « less