Materials specificity and directed assembly of a gold-binding peptide

Small. 2006 Nov;2(11):1372-8. doi: 10.1002/smll.200600070.


Adsorption studies of a genetically engineered gold-binding peptide, GBP1, were carried out using a quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM) to quantify its molecular affinity to noble metals. The peptide showed higher adsorption onto and lower desorption from a gold surface compared to a platinum substrate. The material specificity, that is, the preferential adsorption, of GBP1 was also demonstrated using gold and platinum micropatterned on a silicon wafer containing native oxide. The biotinylated three-repeat units of GBP1 were preferentially adsorbed onto gold regions delineated using streptavidin-conjugated quantum dots (SAQDs). These experiments not only demonstrate that an inorganic-binding peptide could preferentially adsorb onto a metal (Au) rather than an oxide (SiO2) but also onto one noble metal (Au) over another (Pt). This result shows the utility of an engineered peptide as a molecular erector in the directed immobilization of a nanoscale hybrid entity (SAQDs) over selected regions (Au) on a fairly complex substrate (Au and Pt micropatterned regions on silica). The selective and controlled adsorption of inorganic-binding peptides may have significant implications in nano- and nanobiotechnology, where they could be genetically tailored for specific use in the development of self-assembled molecular systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Biotinylation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electrodes
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Kinetics
  • Materials Testing*
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Platinum / chemistry
  • Protein Engineering / methods*
  • Quantum Dots*
  • Thermodynamics


  • Peptides
  • Platinum
  • Gold