Conformational and Electric Charge

Hyun Kwon (Engineering)

Study of conformational and electric charge change of protein binding using the QCM-D and EGFET system

The PI has developed the combined quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) and extended gate field effect transistor (EGFET) system through previous Andrews University Faculty Research Grant (FRG) funding. In the proposal, the PI proposes to focus on application of the instrumental setup to examining biophysical properties of protein bindings.

Protein conformational change often involves the electric charge redistribution; however, this relation has not been extensively studied. This proposed project focuses on the evaluation of conformational and electrical charge change that accompanies protein adsorption and protein binding using the established QCM-D and EGFET system.

To achieve this goal, the chosen model system is calmodulin and vast array of its binding partners. CaM is one of the most extensively studied molecules for its functional importance and the PI has well-established experiences on it. Simultaneous measurement of thickness change and electric charge of calmodulin is the first attempt to reveal its relations.

Most biosensors focus on single property change or at most two, leaving other possible changes blank. The merged QCM-D and EGFET setup enables simultaneous measurement of multiple properties, thickness, electric charge, flexibility. This project will contribute to the bioinstrumentations and biophysics. It will also provide opportunities for undergraduate students of diverse fields (Biology, chemistry, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering) to obtain valuable research experiences.

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