Apr 11, 2020

Single-molecule diffusometry reveals no catalysis-induced diffusion enhancement of alkaline phosphatase as proposed by FCS experiments

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Z. ChenCarlos Bustamante


Theoretical and experimental observations that catalysis enhances the diffusion of enzymes have generated exciting implications about nanoscale energy flow, molecular chemotaxis and self-powered nanomachines. However, contradictory claims on the origin, magnitude, and consequence of this phenomenon continue to arise. Experimental observations of catalysis-enhanced enzyme diffusion, to date, have relied almost exclusively on fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), a technique that provides only indirect, ensemble-averaged measurements of diffusion behavior. Here, using an Anti-Brownian ELectrokinetic (ABEL) trap and in-solution single-particle tracking (SPT), we show that catalysis does not increase the diffusion of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) at the single-molecule level, in sharp contrast to the ~20% enhancement seen in parallel FCS experiments using p-nitrophenyl phosphate (pNPP) as substrate. Combining comprehensive FCS controls, ABEL trap, surface-based single-molecule fluorescence, and Monte-Carlo simulations, we establish that pNPP-induced dye blinking at the ~10 ms timescale is responsible for the apparent diffusion enhancement seen in FCS. Our observations urge a crucial revisit of various experimental findings and ...Continue Reading

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