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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Jan;87(1):274-7.

Production of abiotic receptors by molecular imprinting of proteins.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


When a protein is dissolved in a concentrated aqueous solution of a multifunctional organic compound, freeze-dried, and washed with an anhydrous organic solvent to remove the ligand, the resultant "imprinted" protein preparation binds up to 30-fold more of the template compound in anhydrous solvents than the nonimprinted protein in the same solvent (and both proteins in water). These artificial receptors exhibit marked ligand selectivity as well as stability in anhydrous media. This phenomenon of molecular imprinting, demonstrated for several unrelated proteins and ligands, may be helpful in the development of unique bioadsorbents and, potentially, new biocatalysts.

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