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Biosensors 2011, 1(1), 13-22; doi:10.3390/bios1010013

Nonlinear Dielectric Spectroscopy as an Indirect Probe of Metabolic Activity in Thylakoid Membrane

1
Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
2
Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 December 2010 / Revised: 29 December 2010 / Accepted: 27 January 2011 / Published: 31 January 2011
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Abstract

Nonlinear dielectric spectroscopy (NDS) is a non-invasive probe of cellular metabolic activity with potential application in the development of whole-cell biosensors. However, the mechanism of NDS interaction with metabolic membrane proteins is poorly understood, partly due to the inherent complexity of single cell organisms. Here we use the light-activated electron transport chain of spinach thylakoid membrane as a model system to study how NDS interacts with metabolic activity. We find protein modification, as opposed to membrane pump activity, to be the dominant source of NDS signal change in this system. Potential mechanisms for such protein modifications include reactive oxygen species generation and light-activated phosphorylation.
Keywords: nonlinear dielectric spectroscopy; reactive oxygen species; whole cell biosensor; thylakoid nonlinear dielectric spectroscopy; reactive oxygen species; whole cell biosensor; thylakoid
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fang, J.; Palanisami, A.; Rajapakshe, K.; Widger, W.R.; Miller, J.H., Jr. Nonlinear Dielectric Spectroscopy as an Indirect Probe of Metabolic Activity in Thylakoid Membrane. Biosensors 2011, 1, 13-22.

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