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Mechanically Transduced Immunosorbent Assay To Measure Protein-Protein Interactions

Christopher J. Petell, Kathyrn Randene, Michael Pappas, Diego Sandoval, Brian D. Strahl, Joseph S. Harrison, Joshua P. Steimel

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AbstractMeasuring protein-protein interaction (PPI) affinities is fundamental to biochemistry. Yet, conventional methods rely upon the law of mass action and cannot measure many PPIs due to a scarcity of reagents and limitations in the measurable affinity ranges. Here we present a novel technique that leverages the fundamental concept of friction to produce a mechanical signal that indicates binding. The mechanically transduced immunosorbent (METRIS) assay utilizes rolling magnetic probes to measure PPI interaction affinities. METRIS measures the translational displacement of protein-coated particles on a protein-functionalized substrate. The translational displacement scales with the effective friction induced by a PPI, thus producing a mechanical signal when a binding event occurs. The METRIS assay uses as little as 20 pmols of reagents to measure a wide range of affinities while exhibiting a high resolution and sensitivity. Here we use METRIS to measure several PPIs that were previously inaccessible using traditional methods, providing new insights into epigenetic recognition.