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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Mar 1;102(9):3208-12. Epub 2005 Feb 16.

Label-free detection of small-molecule-protein interactions by using nanowire nanosensors.

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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Biophysics Program, and Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Development of miniaturized devices that enable rapid and direct analysis of the specific binding of small molecules to proteins could be of substantial importance to the discovery of and screening for new drug molecules. Here, we report highly sensitive and label-free direct electrical detection of small-molecule inhibitors of ATP binding to Abl by using silicon nanowire field-effect transistor devices. Abl, which is a protein tyrosine kinase whose constitutive activity is responsible for chronic myelogenous leukemia, was covalently linked to the surfaces of silicon nanowires within microfluidic channels to create active electrical devices. Concentration-dependent binding of ATP and concentration-dependent inhibition of ATP binding by the competitive small-molecule antagonist STI-571 (Gleevec) were assessed by monitoring the nanowire conductance. In addition, concentration-dependent inhibition of ATP binding was examined for four additional small molecules, including reported and previously unreported inhibitors. These studies demonstrate that the silicon nanowire devices can readily and rapidly distinguish the affinities of distinct small-molecule inhibitors and, thus, could serve as a technology platform for drug discovery.

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