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Langmuir. 2012 Aug 21;28(33):12182-90. doi: 10.1021/la3018985. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

Mimicking the biomolecular control of calcium oxalate monohydrate crystal growth: effect of contiguous glutamic acids.

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School of Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.


Scanning confocal interference microscopy (SCIM) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used to investigate the adsorption of the synthetic polypeptide poly(l-glutamic acid) (poly-glu) to calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) crystals and its effect on COM formation. At low concentrations (1 μg/mL), poly-glu inhibits growth most effectively in ⟨001⟩ directions, indicating strong interactions of the polypeptide with {121} crystal faces. Growth in <010> directions was inhibited only marginally by 1 μg/mL poly-glu, while growth in <100> directions did not appear to be affected. This suggests that, at low concentrations, poly-glu inhibits lattice-ion addition to the faces of COM in the order {121} > {010} ≥ {100}. At high concentrations (6 μg/mL), poly-glu resulted in the formation of dumbbell-shaped crystals featuring concave troughs on the {100} faces. The effects on crystal growth indicate that, at high concentrations, poly-glu interacts with the faces of COM in the order {100} > {121} > {010}. This mirrors MD simulations, which predicted that poly-glu will adsorb to a {100} terrace plane (most calcium-rich) in preference to a {121} (oblique) riser plane but will adsorb to {121} riser plane in preference to an {010} terrace plane (least calcium-rich). The effects of different poly-glu concentration on COM growth (1-6 μg/mL) may be due to variations between the faces in terms of growth mechanism and/or (nano)roughness, which can affect surface energy. In addition, 1 μg/mL might not be adequate to reach the critical concentration for poly-glu to significantly pin step movement on {100} and {010} faces. Understanding the mechanisms involved in these processes is essential for the development of agents to reduce recurrence of kidney stone disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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