We present the first example of a fluorophore-doped nickel chelate surface-modified silica nanoparticle that functions in a dual mode, combining histidine-tagged protein purification with site-specific fluorophore labeling. Tetramethylrhodamine (TMR)-doped silica nanoparticles, estimated to contain 700-900 TMRs per ca. 23 nm particle, were surface modified with nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA), producing TMR-SiO2-NTA-Ni2+. Silica-embedded TMR retains very high quantum yield, is resistant to quenching by buffer components, and is modestly quenched and only to a certain depth (ca. 2 nm) by surface-attached Ni2+. When exposed to a bacterial lysate containing estrogen receptor α ligand binding domain (ERα) as a minor component, these beads showed very high specificity binding, enabling protein purification in one step. The capacity and specificity of these beads for binding a his-tagged protein were characterized by electrophoresis, radiometric counting, and MALDI-TOF MS. ERα, bound to TMR-SiO2-NTA-Ni ++ beads in a site-specific manner, exhibited good activity for ligand binding and for ligand-induced binding to coactivators in solution FRET experiments and protein microarray fluorometric and FRET assays. This dual-mode type TMR-SiO2-NTA-Ni2+ system represents a powerful combination of one-step histidine-tagged protein purification and site-specific labeling with multiple fluorophore species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry