A pH-responsive interface derived from resilin-mimetic protein Rec1-resilin

My Y. Truong, Naba K. Dutta, Namita R. Choudhury, Misook Kim, Christopher M. Elvin, Anita J. Hill, Benjamin Thierry, Krasimir Vasilev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


In this investigation, for the first time we report the effects of pH on the molecular orientation, packing density, structural properties, adsorption characteristics and viscoelastic behaviour of resilin-mimetic protein rec1-resilin at the solid-liquid interface using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy. QCM-D and SPR data confirm that the binding ability of rec1-resilin on a substrate is strongly pH-dependent the protein packing density on a gold surface is calculated to be 4.45 × 1013 per cm2 at the isoelectric point (IEP ∼ 4.9), 8.79 × 1011 per cm2 at pH 2 and 9.90 × 1011 per cm2 at pH 12, respectively. Our findings based on the thickness, dissipation and viscoelasticity of the rec1-resilin adlayer also indicate that it is adsorbed onto the gold substrate with different orientation depending on pH, such as back-on adsorption at acidic pH of 2, compact end-on bilayer adsorption at the IEP and side-on at high alkaline pH of 12. When rec1-resilin is 'pinned' to the substrate at IEP and subsequently exposed to an electrolyte solution adjusted to different pH, it switches from a compact globular conformation of the bio-macromolecule at the IEP to a coil conformation at pH between IEP to IED (IED = pKa value of tyrosine amino acid residue) and an extended coil conformation at pH > IED. This transformation from globule to coil to extended coil conformation is kinetically fast, robust and completely reversible. Such responsive surfaces created using 'smart' biomimetic rec1-resilin have the potential to find applications in many areas including biotechnology, medicine, sensors, controlled drug delivery systems and engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4434-4446
Number of pages13
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is financially supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Grant, DP0451406 ) and involves active collaboration with CSIRO Materials Science & Engineering (CMSE) and CSIRO Livestock Industries.


  • Biomimetic material
  • Protein adsorption
  • Quartz crystal microbalance
  • Recombinant protein
  • Resilin
  • Responsive interface


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