Next Article in Journal
Urinary Bladder Cancer Susceptibility Markers. What Do We Know about Functional Mechanisms?
Previous Article in Journal
Contribution of the Tyr-1 in Plantaricin149a to Disrupt Phospholipid Model Membranes
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(6), 12329-12345;

An Investigation of the Effects of Self-Assembled Monolayers on Protein Crystallisation

Institute for Special Environmental Biophysics, Key Laboratory for Space Bioscience and Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710072, Shaanxi, China
Shaanxi Research Design Institute of Petroleum and Chemical Industry, Xi'an 710054, Shaanxi, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 April 2013 / Revised: 16 May 2013 / Accepted: 3 June 2013 / Published: 7 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Materials Science)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3043 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


Most protein crystallisation begins from heterogeneous nucleation; in practice, crystallisation typically occurs in the presence of a solid surface in the solution. The solid surface provides a nucleation site such that the energy barrier for nucleation is lower on the surface than in the bulk solution. Different types of solid surfaces exhibit different surface energies, and the nucleation barriers depend on the characteristics of the solid surfaces. Therefore, treatment of the solid surface may alter the surface properties to increase the chance to obtain protein crystals. In this paper, we propose a method to modify the glass cover slip using a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of functional groups (methyl, sulfydryl and amino), and we investigated the effect of each SAM on protein crystallisation. The results indicated that both crystallisation success rate in a reproducibility study, and crystallisation hits in a crystallisation screening study, were increased using the SAMs, among which, the methyl-modified SAM demonstrated the most significant improvement. These results illustrated that directly modifying the crystallisation plates or glass cover slips to create surfaces that favour heterogeneous nucleation can be potentially useful in practical protein crystallisation, and the utilisation of a SAM containing a functional group can be considered a promising technique for the treatment of the surfaces that will directly contact the crystallisation solution. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein crystallisation; self-assembled monolayer; methyl; sulfydryl; amino protein crystallisation; self-assembled monolayer; methyl; sulfydryl; amino
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, C.-Y.; Shen, H.-F.; Wang, Q.-J.; Guo, Y.-Z.; He, J.; Cao, H.-L.; Liu, Y.-M.; Shang, P.; Yin, D.-C. An Investigation of the Effects of Self-Assembled Monolayers on Protein Crystallisation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 12329-12345.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top