Indexed on: 28 Jul '06Published on: 28 Jul '06Published in: Journal of Physical Chemistry B
Molecular recognition between two redox partners, azurin and cytochrome c 551, is studied at the single-molecule level by means of atomic force spectroscopy, after optimizing azurin adsorption on gold via sulfhydryl-terminated alkanethiol spacers. Our experiments provide evidence of specific interaction between the two partners, thereby demonstrating that azurin preserves biorecognition capability when assembled on gold via these spacers. Additionally, the measured single-molecule kinetic reaction rate results are consistent with a likely transient nature of the complex. Interestingly, the immobilization strategy adopted here, which was previously demonstrated to favor electrical coupling between azurin (AZ) and the metal electrode, is also found to facilitate AZ interaction with the redox partner, if compared to the case of AZ directly adsorbed on bare gold. Our findings confirm the key role of a well-designed immobilization strategy, capable of optimizing both biorecognition capabilities and electrical coupling with the conductive substrate at the single-molecule level, as a starting point for advanced applications of redox proteins for ultrasensitive biosensing.