PIP-on-a-chip: A Label-free Study of Protein-phosphoinositide Interactions

Djoshkun Shengjuler, Simou Sun, Paul S. Cremer, Craig E. Cameron

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5 Scopus citations


Numerous cellular proteins interact with membrane surfaces to affect essential cellular processes. These interactions can be directed towards a specific lipid component within a membrane, as in the case of phosphoinositides (PIPs), to ensure specific subcellular localization and/or activation. PIPs and cellular PIP-binding domains have been studied extensively to better understand their role in cellular physiology. We applied a pH modulation assay on supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) as a tool to study protein-PIP interactions. In these studies, pH sensitive ortho-Sulforhodamine B conjugated phosphatidylethanolamine is used to detect protein-PIP interactions. Upon binding of a protein to a PIP-containing membrane surface, the interfacial potential is modulated (i.e. change in local pH), shifting the protonation state of the probe. A case study of the successful usage of the pH modulation assay is presented by using phospholipase C delta1 Pleckstrin Homology (PLC-δ1 PH) domain and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) interaction as an example. The apparent dissociation constant (Kd,app) for this interaction was 0.39 ± 0.05 µM, similar to Kd,app values obtained by others. As previously observed, the PLC-δ1 PH domain is PI(4,5)P2 specific, shows weaker binding towards phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate, and no binding to pure phosphatidylcholine SLBs. The PIP-on-a-chip assay is advantageous over traditional PIP-binding assays, including but not limited to low sample volume and no ligand/receptor labeling requirements, the ability to test high- and low-affinity membrane interactions with both small and large molecules, and improved signal to noise ratio. Accordingly, the usage of the PIP-on-a-chip approach will facilitate the elucidation of mechanisms of a wide range of membrane interactions. Furthermore, this method could potentially be used in identifying therapeutics that modulate protein's capacity to interact with membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Issue number125
StatePublished - Jul 27 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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