HAV-Peptides Attached to Colloidal Probes Faithfully Detect E-Cadherins Displayed on Living Cells


Toy S, Dietz J, Naumann P, Trothe J, Thomas F, Diederichsen U, Steinem C, Janshoff A




Chemistry. 2023 Jul 11;29(39):e202203904.


Cell adhesion molecules are crucial for a variety of biological processes, including wound healing, barrier formation and tissue homeostasis. One of them is E-cadherin which is generally found at adherent junctions between epithelial cells. To identify this molecule on the surface of cells, E-cadherin mimetic peptides with a critical amino acid sequence of HAV (histidine-alanine-valine) were synthesized and attached to solid-supported membranes covering colloidal probes. Two different functionalization strategies were established, one based on the complexation of DOGS-NTA(Ni) with a polyhistidine-tagged HAV-peptide and the other one relying on the formation of a HAV-lipopeptide using in situ maleimide-thiol coupling. Binding studies were performed to verify the ability of the peptides to attach to the membrane surface. Compared to the non-covalent attachment via the His-tag, we achieved a higher yield by lipopeptide formation. Colloidal probes functionalized with HAV-peptides were employed to measure the presence of E-cadherins on living cells either using video particle tracking or force spectroscopy. Here, human HaCaT cells were examined confirming the specific interaction of the HAV-peptide with the E-cadherin of the cells. Statistical methods were also used to determine the number of single-bond ruptures and the force of a single bond. These findings may be essential for the development of novel biosynthetic materials given their potential to become increasingly relevant in medical applications.


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