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Open AccessArticle

Zn(II)-Coordinated Quantum Dot-FRET Nanosensors for the Detection of Protein Kinase Activity

by Butaek Lim 1,2, Ji-In Park 1,2, Kyung Jin Lee 3, Jin-Won Lee 1,2, Tae-Wuk Kim 1,2,4,* and Young-Pil Kim 1,2,4,*
Department of Life Science, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea
Research Institute for Natural Sciences, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea
Department of Convergence Medicine, Asan Institute for Life Sciences, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul 138-736, Korea
Research Institute for Convergence of Basic Sciences, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Niko Hildebrandt
Sensors 2015, 15(8), 17977-17989;
Received: 4 June 2015 / Revised: 18 July 2015 / Accepted: 21 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue FRET Biosensors)
We report a simple detection of protein kinase activity using Zn(II)-mediated fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET) between quantum dots (QDs) and dye-tethered peptides. With neither complex chemical ligands nor surface modification of QDs, Zn(II) was the only metal ion that enabled the phosphorylated peptides to be strongly attached on the carboxyl groups of the QD surface via metal coordination, thus leading to a significant FRET efficiency. As a result, protein kinase activity in intermixed solution was efficiently detected by QD-FRET via Zn(II) coordination, especially when the peptide substrate was combined with affinity-based purification. We also found that mono- and di-phosphorylation in the peptide substrate could be discriminated by the Zn(II)-mediated QD-FRET. Our approach is expected to find applications for studying physiological function and signal transduction with respect to protein kinase activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: FRET; quantum dot; zinc; kinase; phosphorylation FRET; quantum dot; zinc; kinase; phosphorylation
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Lim, B.; Park, J.-I.; Lee, K.J.; Lee, J.-W.; Kim, T.-W.; Kim, Y.-P. Zn(II)-Coordinated Quantum Dot-FRET Nanosensors for the Detection of Protein Kinase Activity. Sensors 2015, 15, 17977-17989.

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